«Portrait with cigarette»

In the work of portraying Jens Bjørneboe, I started with a good deal of research before I started painting.


I was born in 1979, so I do not have any simultaneous experience of Bjørneboe. My encounter with him was instead through literature, pictures and recordings.

When Bjørneboe writes, it is raw, apt, sharp, but also sensitive, tender, attentive and empathetic. He is a difficult personality to get hold of. At first I tried to paint only the eye and the sharp gaze, but soon discovered that without the eagle nose he became unrecognizable. I have based my work on the older Bjørneboe. His old, almost disintegrated face and changing mood were what struck me. It was painted in a long and demanding stretch, in a free interpretation from an interview at Veierland, a little late in life.

The painting is done with oil paint on Plexiglas in alla prima technique. The colors are taken from a coloristic palette I have been working on for a while. They are carefully tuned one after the other. In this painting, ocher, raw umbra and cobalt blue are the main colors.

In painting, I have tried to capture many of his sides, the harsh, critical, the open, the empathetic. And as reflected, the male artist, the intellectual poser with the cigarette. I can not help but see him with a double vision.

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