Ole Martin Lund Bø has exhibited extensively in Norway, Germany and elsewhere. He had his first solo show in the US at Denny Gallery in New York in 2013. He has participated in several group shows at galleries, museums and institutions, including the Astrup Fearnley Museum for Modern Art in Oslo and the Bergen Kunsthall in Bergen, Norway. In 2006-2007 he was awarded the International Studio and Curatorial Program (ISCP) residency in New York. He has received a wide selection of grants and public commissions in Norway and has his work in several private and public collections. Lund Bø currently lives in Helsinki, Finland.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do. I grew up in Stavanger on the west coast of Norway. Since I left the Academy of Fine Arts in Bergen in 2002, I have moved around quite a bit. First I spent two years in Berlin and then one year in New York at the ISCP. After that I stayed in Oslo for four years, before I moved to Helsinki, where I am currently based. I never miss places. I like the volatility of constant change.
In my work I try to do as little as possible. I reduce and distil. I work with sculpture, painting and photography. I guess one can say it’s all a lie. Nothing really is what it appears to be. Every element in my work is a code leading somewhere outside of the canvas. It’s not real, but fake. I play with the connotations inherent in materials, surfaces and forms, and how they differ from each person experiencing them. Often my work becomes quite minimal, as I tend to leave out everything rendered unnecessary. I paint things that I don’t like. I paint shallowness and fakery. I paint stupidity. I paint anxiety. I make abstractions out of bullshit. As you probably can imagine, I sometimes hate my work, but sometimes I hate myself too, so that’s ok.
How has living in Helsinki affected your art practice? What affects my practice is not where I live, but what happens on a daily basis between the small devils inside my brain. Humans surprise me. Humans even shock me from time to time. Cities never do. That’s why I never miss them.
What kinds of things are influencing your work right now? The way New Yorkers love the fake patina of supposedly old French furniture.
What are some recent, upcoming or current projects you are working on? Lately I have worked on several public projects in Norway, as well as curating a show there and collaborating on a show here in Helsinki. Now I’m about to develop some new works using patination techniques to make a series of paintings.
What are you reading right now? The Map and the Territory by Michel Houellebecq.
How did your interest in art begin? Growing up, I drew all the time. At school I doodled my books apart. Obviously I didn’t learn much from the lectures, always too busy scribbling the hours away. It did make me pretty good at drawing, though.