banner

Brooklyn Street Art

…loves you more every day.

Street Art of the Subtler Sort in Denmark

Posted on July 17, 2013

New Danish Street Art / Public Art Festival Retains the Simplicity of “Play”

In the past few years major cities have begun to sport Street Art festivals that boast and blare themselves with branding, t-shirts, press releases and 90 second video trailers touting the event like an Olympics with spray cans; hosted in the city center with declarations by officials and featuring live DJs, face painting, urban dance troupes, hashtags and corporate sponsorship.

Then there are the quieter ones. These invite you to think and discover your town in an integrated way, conjuring the  meandering route of the creative spirit as expressed upon walls dispersed among streets in town and around it’s periphery in a manner that might strike you as cleverly sane. A recent one just completed in Denmark reminds us of the latter approach that somehow challenges you with its lack of the obvious.

Pøbel. Horsens, Denmark. June, 2013. (photo © Henrik Haven)

The name “Public Art Horsens” is not about horses. You would be forgiven for flinching at the thought of one more beating of that near dead “Public Art” trope from the last 20 years where identical statues of apples or pigs or ardvarks are used as canvasses by all manner of artists and scattered around a city in a big cheerful way.  No, this Horsens is the name of a mid-sized waterside town in Denmark of about 55,000 that didn’t really have much of a reputation for most of the last century aside from it’s prison and the convicts who lived there, according to Henrik Haven, who co-organized and co-curated this art event with his good friend Simon Caspersen.

Portrait of Pøbel with a “No Tresspassing” sign across the channel from his piece. Horsens, Denmark. June, 2013. (photo © Henrik Haven)

“Horsens State Prison housed some of the worst criminals since it opened in 1853 and the released population had a tendency to stay in the city when they got out jail,” says Haven of one of the factors that soured outsiders to the idea of Horsens. “People linked Horsens with social problems, violent people and crime,” he remembers as he recounts some rough years in the 1980s and 90s. But that is all behind Horsens since the prison closed in 2006 and Haven says the city began a cultural rehabilitation of the city’s reputation by putting a strong focus on music, art and cultural events.

Pøbel. Horsens, Denmark. June, 2013. (photo © Henrik Haven)

As far as art in the street goes, the newly completed series of walls and installations for “Public Art Horsens” is one of the least flashy and most conceptual, almost understated – you may have to focus your efforts to see it and appreciate it but you are rewarded for the effort. Check out the work of American public artist Brad Downey, who uses a circular saw to switch chunks of public pavement with one another. You won’t see his work unless you are looking down at the street, and Mr. Downey is satisfied that you will enjoy the discovery of bricked patches swapped and recontextualized. Have a look at Sam3 from Spain, who incorporates the heaping steaming pile of garbage at a dump into a one-color portrait he completes on its retaining wall.

 

Pøbel. Horsens, Denmark. June, 2013. (photo © Henrik Haven)

So subtle and integrated is the nature of “Public Art Horsens” that you may never discover the birdhouses by Thomas Dambo or the mind-tricking duplication of a pizzeria façade right next to the original.  Less subtle fare is available of course; you will probably slow down to contemplate Pøbel’s stencil of a moose mating with a unicorn, or the be struck by the gentle environmental activism of his lounging fisherman at the industrial waterside who appears to be catching a mutated fishbottle.

Pøbel. Horsens, Denmark. June, 2013. (photo © Henrik Haven)

Pøbel. Horsens, Denmark. June, 2013. (photo © Henrik Haven)

Spains Escrif is similarly cryptic in a big way with his depiction of figures demonstrating techniques of self-defense that are humorously old-fashioned, while Örnduvald simply installs a quite oversized and glittering GPS map pin on the side of an impressive example of Danish historical architecture.

In a way, the scope and the tenor of the “Public Art Horsens” is refreshing because of it’s lack of hype. You can also see the roots of the D.I.Y. movement that spawned much of the modern Street Art scene at play here – particularly with Brad Downey sifting through the refuse to construct a waving wall of found canisters or swinging off a crane while messing around with some objects on a concrete lot. When it comes to the public sphere at Horsens, the experimental nature of Street Art still feels like play.

Örnduvald. Horsens, Denmark. June, 2013. (photo © Henrik Haven)

Örnduvald. Horsens, Denmark. June, 2013. (photo © Henrik Haven)

Brad Downey sifting through the refuse for material to create one of his installations. Horsens, Denmark. June, 2013. (photo © Henrik Haven)

Brad Downey. Horsens, Denmark. June, 2013. (photo © Henrik Haven)

Brad Downey gets carried away with his experimentations with a crane. Horsens, Denmark. June, 2013. (photo © Henrik Haven)

Brad Downey. Horsens, Denmark. June, 2013. (photo © Henrik Haven)

A temporary installation by Brad Downey. Horsens, Denmark. June, 2013. (photo © Henrik Haven)

Brad Downey removes a square of pavement, and rotates it, and places it back into its original spot. Horsens, Denmark. June, 2013. (photo © Henrik Haven)

Brad Downey. Horsens, Denmark. June, 2013. (photo © Henrik Haven)

Here the artist Brad Downey replaces a sample of bricked walkway with one from a nearby neighbor. Horsens, Denmark. June, 2013. (photo © Henrik Haven)

Brad Downey. Horsens, Denmark. June, 2013. (photo © Henrik Haven)

Incorporating a temporary configuration of garbage, Sam3 imagines it as contiguous with a larger art piece. Horsens, Denmark. June, 2013. (photo © Henrik Haven)

Sam3. Horsens, Denmark. June, 2013. (photo © Henrik Haven)

Sam3. Horsens, Denmark. June, 2013. (photo © Henrik Haven)

Sam3. Horsens, Denmark. June, 2013. (photo © Henrik Haven)

Sam3. Horsens, Denmark. June, 2013. (photo © Henrik Haven)

Thoma Dambo. Horsens, Denmark. June, 2013. (photo © Henrik Haven)

Thomas Dambo. Horsens, Denmark. June, 2013. (photo © Henrik Haven)

Escif. Horsens, Denmark. June, 2013. (photo © Henrik Haven)

Escif. Horsens, Denmark. June, 2013. (photo © Henrik Haven)

Escif. Horsens, Denmark. June, 2013. (photo © Henrik Haven)

Escif. Horsens, Denmark. June, 2013. (photo © Henrik Haven)

This Turkish pizzeria looked so nice they created it twice.

Escif. Horsens, Denmark. June, 2013. (photo © Henrik Haven)

“Public Art Horsens” features Pøbel, Escif, Sam3, Thomas Dambo, Örnduvald and local talents.

‘Public Art Horsens’ was created by the Municipality of Horsens along with organizer Simon Caspersen from ArtRebels, photographer Henrik Haven and the local creative community called ‘Stormsalen’.

 

<<>>><><<>BSA<<>>><<<>><><BSA<<>>><><<>BSA<<>>><<<>><><BSA

Please note: All content including images and text are © BrooklynStreetArt.com, unless otherwise noted. We like sharing BSA content for non-commercial purposes as long as you credit the photographer(s) and BSA, include a link to the original article URL and do not remove the photographer’s name from the .jpg file. Otherwise, please refrain from re-posting. Thanks!

<<>>><><<>BSA<<>>><<<>><><BSA<<>>><><<>BSA<<>>><<<>><><BSA

Please follow and like us:

Related Posts

  • The Halloween Parade through the Village in NYC is tonight, the 40th actually, and you will see a greater number of ghostly guys and ghouls…

  •   Our weekly focus on the moving image and art in the streets. And other oddities. Now screening from the cities we're featuring all week…

  • Street Artist JR In Brooklyn

    Placement is Key in the New Installations French Street Artist JR has begun his "Inside Outside" global art campaign as a result of winning the…