Inside the Studio

Magnus Gjoen

What is your medium?
Because I have a full-time design job where I travel a lot- my art is digital. I’m quite happy with how it’s turned out as I can do everything on my Mac and not have to drag around a lot of materials or be confined to one place. I used to paint, which I might return to, however digital is more convenient for now.

What themes do you pursue?
I like to look at and change peoples preconceived notions of an object. I want to look past it’s use and to see it more as a design object or something of beauty rather than e.g. a mass killing machine. In the end it’s the human that pulls the trigger and kills, not the gun itself.

How many years as an artist?
I’ve been in the creative industry since I graduated 10 years ago, but doing what I would call art for just over a year now.

Sketchbook? Do you use one? What type?
I guess I use more of a digital scrapbook- one where I collect images on my phone and Mac- everything from pictures of a urinal wall to a painting at the Pitti Palace.

Most important tool you use?
My Mac- mostly everything is done on it from research to the final artwork.

Where is your studio?
Around the world, wherever I travel. When I have spare time I research for art or make art.

What was the best advice given to you as an artist?
It was a  question; “What do you want to do next?” It starts you thinking and continuously try to look at new things and ways of doing things. I decided to try fiberglass statues which is where my print MalaFide comes in. It’s actually the “design drawing” of the statue which I hope to finish soon.

Why do you make art?
It’s something I love doing and creating something that other people also appreciate is immensely gratifying.I started doing prints when I moved into my new flat in London and wanted something to put on the wall. It got such a good reception I decided to contact a few galleries and the rest is history.

Art school or self-taught?
I’ve got a master in fashion design, although I’ve taught myself a lot of my graphic skills through simply wanting to know more and being a geek.

Favorite font?

I have 12, all on my torso so I can easily cover them with a T-shirt. Hinting at “Things are not always as they seem”.

Prefer to work with music or in silence?
I usually have the TV on or music or both. It takes the mind where it might not have wondered if you were in complete silence

iTunes, spotify, records?
iTunes, easy- at your fingertips

Succulents or cigarettes?
Granola bars

What’s around the corner from your place?
London and all it has to offer.

Where can we find you outside the studio?
When I’m home in London I’ll be at the gym or out with friends and when I’m away and have time off I’ll be in a museum of some sort.

What could you not do without?
My Mac and the hard-drive I back it up on.

If you couldn’t be an artist, what would you do?
I’ve always wanted to be an architect, and not sure why I chose fashion & art over it.

Day job?
I used to be a Denim designer which has gradually ended me up in graphic design & product development.

Food or sleep?
A lack of either makes me unbearable.

Would you rather see your art on a t-shirt or on a billboard?
I do T-shirts in my day-job, so probably a billboard.

Religion or pop culture?
My art often combines the two, they are both fascinating if you are able to stand back and observe them.

Traditional or conceptual?
One cannot exist without the other

What do you collect?
At the moment, Fornasetti

Favorite contemporary artist?
I don’t have one in particular but Jessica Harrison (porcelain), D-Face and Jimmie Martin (furniture) are continually up there.

A piece of art you love?
The Allegory of Planets and Continents by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo.

If you could only have one piece of art in your life, what would it be?
One of the Degas Ballerina pictures

Which living or dead artist would you most like to meet?
Salvador Dali, not my favorite artist, but he’d probably be the most fun to hang out with.