Henrik Kleppe Worm-Müller
sometimes as an artist i feel like a skater alone in a hangar, with lots of space to skate, but no-one to look at to inspire me.
I get out on Karl Johan street. Oslos broad walking way. My mouth is numb because i have just been to the dentist. I had a successful interview this morning and are calling Henrik for todays interview number two and my second as a journeyallist . Henrik is stoked on the phone -yeah! just come up here to the printing studio. see you soon. I hop on a tram to take me eastside of town. Ten minutes later i am eating banana and drinking smoothie in the calm street that leads up from a park to a hidden gem of Oslo, a neighbourhood of old wooden villas with small gardens, in the middle of an area full of brick apartment buildings and old factories.
Its Henriks first lithographie, he´s been working on it for about a month and is just finished. The stone is soaking in liquid rubber so that the areas which is not covered with the greasy pencil used to draw, will retain water and repel ink. Its called etching. Henrik is looking at the details and is a bit worried that the clouds won’t come out the way he wants. Kjell, who runs the press tells him not to worry about it. Henrik asks me what i think about it, I am caught of guard. Its like so many of his paintings, my amazement of his skills has hindered me to think about the depth of the space. I must admit i don’t understand them. First thing that comes to my mind is that it gives me cognitive dissonance. The dark picture of an old mill with a horse standing outside, harnessed with a carriage, waiting for loads, where there is no-one to load.
Henrik Kleppe Worm-Müller is a father, skateboarder and painter, he lives, skates and works in Oslo. His art takes up most of his time, but he is still to be seen at Oslos number one street spot. City Hall steps, at the apex of the oslo fjord. He has had several exhibitions in Europe, is in the Statoil Art collection and is currently promoted by gallery Haaken.
We leave the stone, and go and sit down in the lunch area of the print shop. I turn on the recorder as we talk. -you recording? -yeah we are! I say. -ok, go head, ask whatever you want. I just let the conversation go on , i got some notes and i want to start with Henriks current affairs. Evidently its the stone he just finished which is going in the print tomorrow. But i use my notes anyway. He tells me he is working towards an exhibition in 2016. I get put back again hearing about long plans like that, -well, i use more than a month on some pictures. It will take some time, since he is doing a separate exhibition of 20-30 pieces. The exhibition will be different studies of landscape photos, painted on metal, scraped on plexiglass, burnt on wood and other techniques Henrik experiments with. His inspiration is -from the painters whom back in the days (william turner, lars hertwig, rembrandt) did studies out in nature, making sketches they took back to their studios and there painted the picture. Henrik uses old photos which he recreates so detailed that you have to get close to see that it is painted, i’m observant and see a lot of details, sometimes i realize myself, that i see a lot that many people don’t acknowledge. i feel lucky to have eye for details.
Landscape pictures sounds national romantic and old, pointless in these days of photography, time lapse and drone shots. From days long gone when all they had was paint and paper to make pictures of landscape, with some added details to make it even more romantic. Henrik adds details from himself, which gives his pictures an intangible allure, -something idyllic, but then you see small details that you can’t really explain. making disharmony, telling several stories, makes the viewer think and giving the picture depth. I want to make my pictures psychological challenging, put something disturbing in it. You really manage that! I compliment him. i use a realistic start, from a photo, then i spill red-spirit on to make different marks, inspired by old photos who had gone wrong in the development, broken photos, where something has happened during the process. The mysteries about the wrongs in the photo, acid burns, light exposure, what has happened do make these marks? its art by accident. something beyond control of the artist/developer. I think its more interesting when these mistakes has happened.
His latest pictures are colorless and industriell, telling stories of a long gone era, with Henriks added spookiness. I remember a series he did some years back, in his pink period. I ask if this was a more happy period? he lets me know -to not be confused by the happy colors and that there is some darkness to them as well, and he ads that he doesn’t like those pictures and was totally aloof at that time. Personally i think he made a lot of cool pink negatives, and i can relate to the spaces in my aloofness.
Flippin to skate. Henrik was one of a handful professional skaters in Norway in the nineties, skating has hit the mainstream now but back then it was a subculture. Skateboarding was actually illegal in Norway until 1989, three years after the ban was lifted Henrik got his first skateboard. -it became a lifestyle, just what i did, skateboarding with friends, watching skateboard-movies with guys like Tom Penny and Ronny Krieger for inspiration. Contrary to his mindful decision to become a painter and do school. I figured out that painting is the only thing i can do to stay motivated and moving forward.
Watching his parts from the HBS series, norwegian skate-movie classics from the 90’s, shows a dedicated expressional skater. What entices him about the skating and gets him really fired up just talking about, is the focus needed to do a good series of trix, everything has to be perfect and the focus has to be total for the whole time. -its like magic! In his paintings the magic is in the mystery. The similarities between the two are many, though Henrik never saw himself as an artist during his skating carriere he says; skating is a kind of art, but i did not think about it like that at the time. Doing trix to put on film, trying to do something no one else has done is a creative process. The endurance in learning new tricks, practice, patience and concentration is the same with painting, sometimes its just about holding out, being patient to finish it, other times it can be a small detail in the picture that turns out great and helps along the way. To finish a masterpiece. Its technical both things, you just have to try over and over again. So the skating has helped with the painting? For sure, i don’t know if i have even painted if it was not for the skating, at least it has made me conscious about technique. you need basic technique to set the mood of the picture and how to set it all together to get the expression wanted. its about knowing how to solve different parts of the picture, like a shadow for instance. Henrik has experience riding his board on norwegian summer nights, kickin’ and flippin,’ refining his skills and technique, he also have three year of art school and several years as a student with master Torvald Lund-Hansen whom he credits along with his mother.
I feel very lonely in my art, luckily skating is great in balancing the tedious hours painting. Get out with friends, get warm and have a laugh.
Sørfing magazine wish to thank Henrik Kleppe Worm-Müller for being our first Sørfing profile. Good luck with your art and keep on rollin»
Link to Gallery Haaken
Link to Statoil Art Collection
Contact Henrik @ firstname.lastname@example.org