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Rune Christensen

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Rune Christensen (born 1980)

The Danish artist Rune Christensen works with glowing colours and filling out the whole canvas. Human characters and wild animals seem frozen in the middle of a story created by Christensen. His art is filled out with patterns, textures and textiles are portrayed with detailed perfection and inspiration from many different countries and cultures.
As a self-taught painter with graffiti background, Rune Christensen widely travelled and has gathered his visual inspiration from around the world and maybe that is why the composition in his art express simplicity and static like a great wall painting. But his artworks are also complex in the way that his motives carry and enhance the symbolic along with his very detailed painting technique. In Christensen´s early artworks tattoos have had a prominent role, these social status symbols, the dedication to certain things, promises of love that his motives have on their bodies are Christensen´s way of telling stories.

Simultaneously, the tattoos are also a cultural thing. Rune Christensen is out of the graffiti and street environment where tattoos are important statements of who you are and what you stand for. In many of these artworks the portrayed person´s mouth is covered and the observer can only see the portrayed person´s eyes, details on their skin and in their surroundings. Rune Christensen´s portrayed humans are unable to use words, their decorations are their only language and their only way of communicating their emotions with each other and with the observer. Christensen´s motives and visual language have gained a great audience without words and partly without culture.

He grew up in a small town in Denmark but he has clearly embraced other countries and their cultures. In his latest work the surfaces are often filled with human figures with a clear non-Danish ethnic expression. His figures carry different things on trays like a tiger head, a can or a human head. These things are served on trays around the figures – it´s up to you to figure out why.

Christensen´s latest artworks have a very international look, the humans seem almost Egyptian in the way that they are portrayed on old cans from Egypt etc. As Rune Christensen´s career takes off, he exhibits more and more in galleries in the capitals of the world and on international art shows. Christensen´s visual language has a great appeal, it is colourful and can be interpreted by many different cultures. They are iconic portraits of some human relations and positions. Symbols and patterns are a substantial part of the storytelling in his artworks in the way that every single face, every single person is partly anonymous. Rune Christensen´s art is not portraits of certain people or groups, they are statements of symbolic characters and therefore of big international interest. His artworks are mysterious – you don´t really know what is going on, what the artist wants to say. Especially in Christensen´s latest work, the human groups are portrayed as strangers and somewhat intimidating.  An accumulation, a gathering of living humans who act as stilleben, humans on a tray.