Artist talk with
Acrylic on canvas
Tell us about yourself.
My name is Laust Højgaard. I’m a danish artist and I love horror movies and Vietnamese food.
Where did your passion for art begin?
I drew a lot as a kid, as most kids, but when my friends stopped at a certain age I kept on. I started studying classical drawing, crouquis and chased perfection in my own work until I recently found out, that the perfect piece of work is actually quite boring. At least for me. It’s all about expression and not about constructing something that follows a certain recipe. Just like every other art form the expression and personality is what makes it interesting to experience no matter what form it is. Maybe it’s a cliché but nevertheless it’s true.
How would you describe your work to someone?
It’s figurative and often focused around one or more characters. I would say it’s a combination of humor, sadness, darkness and quirkiness. It’s graphic and naive and often links back to some sort of sub- or pop culture.
'Court traveling', 2022
Acrylic and phosphorescent paint on canvas
What are you currently working on?
I have myself the challenge of only working in a 50x70cm size for some months. Normally I do bigger pieces, so it’s feels like a huge change in many aspects, but it’s fun. I focus my work a lot around facial expressions at the moment too. That’s something I want to explore more. I’ve had a long period where I did anonymous characters, where their faces was covered up with balaclavas and stuff like that. The mystery of hiding their faces gave a nice tension, but it felt like a limitation in the end.
When you start a new work or project, do you plan what you’re going to create or do you improvise? Elaborate
I always have a situation or character in my head. Most of the time it’s from imagination and then sometimes backed up with photos, but that’s mostly just for smaller details. I rarely do sketches since I feel like I loose a lot of the energy in the work if I start with a sketch. A lot more interesting details appear naturally if I just let things happen as I go. I always feel like I’m working on a dark vs. quirky spectrum and I’m balancing my work all the time in the process. It needs to be right in the center to work right.
Acrylic on canvas
Can you highlight some of your influences and discuss how your influences have made an impact on you and your practice?
To mention one, Christian Rex van Minnen is and has been a huge inspiration for a loooong time. He’s extraordinary skilled and I love the grotesque humor he puts in his pieces to set the mood. Although I don’t feel like our style is visually similar I feel like there’s similarities in the the mood of his work and the way I feel when I work. That’s what I like to think at least.
What are your plans for the remainder of this year?
I’ve started painting on thick acrylic sheets and I would love to crack how to transfer my style onto those. Putting the transparent sheets on top of each other makes me able to work in layer like doing a IRL photoshop file as a psychical piece. Really looking forward to explore that more. If you don’t see it on my Insta profile within this year I probably failed.