Marit Geraldine Bostad
Marit Geraldine Bostad is a Norwegian abstract expressionist painter. She currently works in a disused naval base surrounded by nature, where she finds tranquility for her works. Her creative process is often characterized by different layers in contrast with each other. A constant battle of the right kind of unbalance. Both in gestures, colours and mark making.
Through a series of paintings on canvas, Marit Geraldine Bostad investigates the themes that are central to her artistic research, the inner psyche, memories and human interaction. She blends her colours by pouring paint directly onto the canvas using a variety of tools, seldom using the paint brush - to create diverse, versatile effects, resulting in broad expressive strokes whose vibrant color emanates from the surface. As she moves the paint around the canvas, consistent colour blends start to form. These blended gestures become auras that grow and merge with pure colour. Marit Geraldine explores the Nordic Colour tradition in a bold new direction, blending tone to tone pastels with sparks of fluorescent and manifesting her own personal psychic state onto the canvas. She builds up and breaks down the diverse elements of her personal experience and brings them together in a new plastic dimension.
Q: You have a beautifully unique style. Have you always been drawn to abstract painting or have you worked in other styles and media in the past?
When I was a child I was always drawing in a figurative style but I liked to give it my own touch, I deliberately left out certain aspects. My mother was a Clothing Designer and it was she who taught me that you can have your own style. A sweater for example is not just a sweater and as a designer one has the ability to make it unique.
Last week my daughter came home from school with a drawing. And she said, “Mum, can you see I have my own style - just like you - I am not afraid of doing what others don´t”. For me this was a very proud moment.
As an artist I have always been mostly abstract with some series displaying glimpses of something figurative. In these instances, the figurative nature of the painting must come across as wrong. Perfection is boring and my love of contrasts always pushes me further into unknown territory.
Q: Are there any artists who have influenced you over the years?
There are so many artists to appreciate. I find myself being inspired in many ways, bits and pieces from here and there. The art world online is massive, so much to dive into. Taking part in The Other Art Fair last year as well as this year also made me experience so many up and coming talented artists. Gerhard Richter is an artist I have admired for a long time. I have seen the documentary about him many times... his abstract work is special and I believe him to be a pioneer within the abstract field.
Q: You have a very unusual studio space in Horton, Norway: how does working in an old naval base influence your painting?
I just love the atmosphere there. You can simply feel the history present in the building. It somehow makes me feel grounded. I go on walks around the area given that it is full of nature. I photograph my artwork outside, very often up against the old walls or doors and people walking nearby can see me with a new painting in hand.
My studio is a holy place to me – I am so happy when I am there, knowing I will create something completely new.
Q: How do you approach starting a painting? Do you have a set idea before you start or does it develop as you work?
Most often I don´t have any idea. As I begin work, something occurs, neither planned, nor forced. I actively use the feelings from memories which come back to me when I paint. It can be something as subtle as a conversation, a particular individual – something strong enough to affect me. One of the collectors of my work calls me an everyday spy. Indeed I try not to actively search for these ideas as it is always favourable to work with material that finds me naturally.
Q: Recently you’ve received a lot of media attention. How has this affected you and your practice?
The last six months have been extremely hectic with lots of curations, features, interviews, studio visits, reviews... I have been lucky to have a lot of attention from Saatchi Art and others. In response I try to distribute the news via my social medias and this has gained further traction. I just received representation from Norway’s most established gallery called Fineart, Oslo.
At The Other Art Fair in April of this year I was one of Rebecca Wilsons (chief curator in Saatchi Art) 4 Must See Artists. This made me so happy, especially as I am one of the lucky few artists featured with The Other Art Fair in NYC on 1 June 2017. Truly an adventure.
Q: You must be familiar with London by now, how does the art culture here differ from your home in Norway?
The art culture is completely different. Of course, Norway is so much smaller. However, not so many people are into art from an early age. In London it seems as if attending exhibitions and fairs is a part of everyday life. I have clients in London in their twenties which was a huge surprise. In Norway most collectors are in their forties, fifties and sixties. I guess Londoners don´t go skiing every weekend... in Norway sports and nature compete heavily with the art world and its events. All in all, the cultural differences are conflicting and it is for this reason that I am so glad to be showing my work in a gallery in London for the first time.