Front cover on the Magazine Vannbæreren, Karlsøya, Norway 1974 and 1975
Acrylic on Paper, set up on canvas
It took quite some years from Karlsøya and until I got a studio at Grûnerløkka in Oslo at the beginning of the eighties. I have always made pictures, but nothing significant happened before I came to Oslo.
Grûnerløkka quarter of today is modern and fancy with its coffee shops, bars, restaurants, exclusive shops and with prices on flats that are among the highest in the country. The beginning of the eighties was entirely different, this district of Oslo was run down, and we managed to rent a proper studio for a small price in a building that later should be torn down. In the basement, a rock musician came and started Cafe Vâra, a place that soon became one of the hottest spots in town. Broadcasting that so far had only happened through the governmental NRK was suddenly opened up and private was able to start broadcasting. It was a spring with new radio stations and Radio1, and others began sending across the street from our studio. One day I was asked to have a one-person show exhibition at Cafe Vâra, and after a success here I was asked to run Gallery Vâra. That was the start of my time as a gallery leader, along with being an artist.
To make a long story short, my policy as responsible for Gallery Vâra was an exhibition mix between established artists and fresh debut exhibitions. So every second exhibition was with a debutant, and the others with an established artist. This way many established artists of today had their first one-person show at Gallery Vâra. The gallery was also breaking down the snobbishness that often surrounded the world of fine art and galleries. The evening when punks were breaking the doors to get into a vernissage was a clear message that we had managed to tear down those false walls many galleries build around art. When this happened, it was Dagfinn Knudsen who had his exhibition opening, and the rock group Spacelings was playing.
When the time came for the demolishing of the house with our studio and the cafe-gallery, it was negotiated a deal with the City of Oslo. We got a new and much larger house located on the side of the Central Train Station in the heart of downtown Oslo. Here we had lots of studios for artists along with the ground floor for the Cafe and Gallery Vâra.
Gallery Vâra was important, and the concept of having entirely fresh artists, and established artists every other time turned out to be beneficial for both. Even Høvikodden, the art museum and gallery Henie Onstad Kunstsenter, came for a co-operation. That way Gallery Vâra also hosted an exhibition for the Bulgarian-American artist Christo.
Jane's Painting was as said part of my first real one-person show at Gallery Vâra at Grûnerløkka in Oslo. Jane came in, saw this painting, and said afterwards that she instantly fell entirely in love with the painting. She was neither extremely rich or had any collection of art; she just loved a particular picture. But, and yes there was a big 'but' - and that was that this painting was already sold. In the end, I had to talk to the buyer, as for Jane it was only one painting - this one. Luckily for Jane, the buyer of the painting had no problem in finding another of mine paintings so that Jane could buy this one.
That's why this painting could not be named any other name but Jane's Painting, even titles come in strange ways sometimes ...
Jane's painting - from the first One Man Show, Oslo, Norway 1984
Hanne - from the second One Man Show, Oslo, Norway 1985
Gesamtkunstwerk, Oslo, Norway 1989
My ART Today