Hrafnkell has long been one of Iceland’s most innovative and interesting artists: daring and complex, thoughtful and accessible, often aggressively challenging and almost always beautiful—magnifying the surface of things to reveal a rich and hidden interior. His work over the past two decades has ensured him a place at the forefront of our visual arts scene, and anyone who studies it will know why.
We ask him what he is thinking about.
“I can’t really tell. It comes from outside. I am constantly besieged by thoughts and ideas, but I cannot really understand where they come from or what they mean. I just try and follow and investigate what strikes my curiosity, and this gets things going. Years later I might start realising connections and motives. But in the present I am only chasing what appears. This is what I enjoy about working in the field of art, about the whole process.”
Hrafnkell will be representing Iceland at the Liverpool Biennale in September, along with Hrafnhildur Arnardóttir (AKA Shoplifter). Currently, you may view his art at The Living Art Museum (Nýló), Kjarvalsstaðir and 18 Gallery (which represents him). And you should.
“I have always been extremely interested in the surface of things,” artist Hrafnkell Sigurðsson tells us. “It is what I have been exploring, and what I keep exploring—the infinite depth of the surface.”