STUDIO VISIT: CHRISTIANE SPANGSBERG

Christiane Spangsberg is an artist inspired by originality and imperfection. Originally she comes from Vejle, Denmark, where she was born in 1989. Currently she lives in Copenhagen, where I visited her a couple of weeks ago for a talk about her work, inspiration and social media.

Christiane highly practises a Fauvism style in her work, which she often creates on the floor in the small loft studio above her apartment at Østerbro. A kind of sanctuary of hers filled with a creative atmosphere, paintings and materials everywhere.

 Christiane Spangsberg | Photo by Louise Thornfeldt.

Christiane Spangsberg | Photo by Louise Thornfeldt.

Can you tell us a bit about yourself? When did you start to paint?
I’ve been drawing my whole life. I can’t remember exactly when I started, but I was quite young when I asked my mom to let me go to a drawing class. I was imitating objects and working with aquarelle, which my mom taught me, and I practiced so hard. It was almost a struggle. I was such a perfectionist, and this was one of the reasons why I stopped. In 2010 I was somehow inspired again and began drawing once more, but in a much different way than I had done previously.

 Christiane Spangsberg's studio | Photo by Louise Thornfeldt.

Christiane Spangsberg's studio | Photo by Louise Thornfeldt.

 Christiane Spangsberg's studio | Photo by Louise Thornfeldt.

Christiane Spangsberg's studio | Photo by Louise Thornfeldt.

Who or what inspires you?
I’m very inspired by the French modern painters from the early twentieth century among Henri Matisse and André Derain - to name a few. They practiced a style named Fauvism, which I’m very fascinated by. Drawing is a process for me to express my inner feelings and thoughts. It’s in me. When it’s out I can look at it and try to understand.

Drawing is a process for me to express my inner feelings and thoughts. It’s in me. When it’s out I can look at it and try to understand.

Can you tell us about your working process?
Well, I guess I draw when I want to. Though, the more attention I get, the harder it is to keep this balance. I believe that I'm good when I only draw for and to myself. Sometimes I agree on commissioned pieces, like the one for The Paddington Inn. It happens very rarely though, since I say no to a lot.

 Christiane Spangsberg's studio | Photo by Louise Thornfeldt.

Christiane Spangsberg's studio | Photo by Louise Thornfeldt.

Does every one of your paintings have it’s own story? Or do you encourage the viewers to have their own impressionistic interpretation?
It always depends on the eyes that see. To me they do. I rarely tell much about the works I share though. I think it's very important for the viewers to have the opportunity to translate it in their own way. With that said I’ve come to learn that it’s easier for people to relate to a piece when you share a little part of the story behind it.

I’ve come to learn that it’s easier for people to relate to a piece when you share a little part of the story behind it.

Can you tell us a bit about your current and future projects?
Right now I have a scented candle out created in collaboration with Maison Balzac and Matteau Swim. Translated as "The Beach", LA PLAGE is built on an olfactive pyramid of Bergamot, Lemon and Green Leaf to conjure nostalgic scents reminiscent of an Australian summer - so lovely! In a month I’ll be traveling to Sydney to have an exhibition there in early 2017. I’m very excited about this journey and can’t wait to showcase some of my newest works! In Spring 2017 I have another collaboration coming out with a new womenswear label from London called J.V Reid. The line is very minimalistic and all about quality which really resonates with me.

 Christiane Spangsberg | Photo by Louise Thornfeldt.

Christiane Spangsberg | Photo by Louise Thornfeldt.

 Christiane Spangsberg's studio | Photo by Louise Thornfeldt.

Christiane Spangsberg's studio | Photo by Louise Thornfeldt.

Have you experienced a development or change in your style?
My purpose is to always develop my work and myself and I hope it is seen. I believe I have to. To learn and to be better.

My purpose is to always develop my work and myself and I hope it is seen. I believe I have to. To learn and to be better.

You use social platforms such as Instagram to expose your work and process and invite people into your creative environment and life. How and why do you integrate social medias into your work?
Because it’s so visual, Instagram is a great way to share your story. I didn’t know it when I started to share my works, but I’ve become more and more personal. In the beginning I was scared as shit! Now it’s so natural for me. I’ve never thought about how I integrate it. I just do. I don’t plan ahead and it’s not all neat and pretty. It just is what it is. If that makes sense?

Below you can see a selection of photos
from Christianes Instagram @christianespangsberg.

Indeed! Do you then think it has become easier or harder for artists around the world in the light of this opportunity for exposure? What is your strategy for survival?
I definitely think it has become easier to get exposure to your work. A platform like Instagram can work as a gallery - and that is something we haven’t seen before. What’s my strategy for survival? - I guess the only thing I can control is to become better, and to do the best I can. To keep pushing myself into new directions. I want to be an artist for the people - a person you feel like you know. Just a bit.

When we talked earlier you mentioned that you weren't “supposed” to become an artist. You also mentioned that it had been difficult for you to define yourself as one – how you were a bit scared about what other people might think. Is it something you still have in mind?
In a way I’ve always been scared of it. I’ve always seen artists as more refined human beings than "the rest of us". Thought that they were something special. I never liked this way of thinking – that some are better than others. I have now come to the conclusion that, if an artist is what people think I am, I can deal with it. It's not my job to title myself. In my eyes I’m a girl who occasionally likes to express myself on paper. I’m not more or less worthy of anything than you are.

 Christiane Spangsberg | Photo by Louise Thornfeldt.

Christiane Spangsberg | Photo by Louise Thornfeldt.

Perhaps when I’m 70 years old, and I’ve spend my whole life drawing and painting and selling my works, I think I will be comfortable with calling myself artist. I still need some time.

Perhaps when I’m 70 years old, and I’ve spend my whole life drawing and painting and selling my works, I think I will be comfortable with calling myself artist. I still need some time.

Do you have any advice for other creative people?
Let other people decide what you are, and don’t think too much about it. You know the truth within. Maybe we are all artists, as we are all individual unique creatures on this planet. Right here right now. So if you have something to show - just show it! What are you waiting for?

 Christiane Spangsberg's studio | Photo by Louise Thornfeldt.

Christiane Spangsberg's studio | Photo by Louise Thornfeldt.

 Christiane Spangsberg's studio | Photo by Louise Thornfeldt.

Christiane Spangsberg's studio | Photo by Louise Thornfeldt.

Visit Christiane’s website here.

Louise Thornfeldt (f. 1994) er fotograf. Louise har bidraget til idoart.dk siden 2014.