“I sort of stumbled into it after not fitting into the boxes… it came as a need to express myself more 1:1 with my true self.”
A Journey Toward Artistry: Johannes Holt Iversen’s Evolution
Johannes Holt Iversen, a Danish visual artist, navigates his creative journey between Herfolge, Denmark, and Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Until 2020, Iversen immersed himself in Amsterdam’s vibrant art scene. However, post-pandemic, the artist found solace closer to Copenhagen, in the quaint town of Herfolge, where he seamlessly transitioned his artistic endeavors.
Finding his place in the world of art was an evolutionary process for Iversen. While other roles such as academia, music, and woodworking did not resonate with his inherent creativity, the path of a visual artist felt like a natural progression. For him, the foray into the professional domain of drawing and painting was less about a singular moment of inspiration and more about embracing a calling that had always been a part of his existence.
Embracing Paleofuturism: The Artistic Identity of Holt Iversen
In 2014, Johannes Holt Iversen took a decisive step towards cementing his place in the art world. Over a coffee in his hometown, he resolved to earnestly pursue a career as a professional visual artist. This resolution was further solidified in 2016, when he joined the esteemed Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam and explored opportunities at an academy in Paris. This period saw the artist’s career crystallize into a definitive path.
Holt Iversen’s style has been aptly termed “Paleofuturism” by art historians, acknowledging his work spanning the last 3-4 years. The artist’s unique blend of prehistoric fascination, evident in his appreciation for the cave paintings of Lascaux and Chauvet in France, harmoniously coexists with a modern, technological approach to materials and effects. His works, rich in themes of accelerationism, globalism, and hyper-capitalism, eloquently traverse the mediums of painting, sculpture, and drawing.
Crafting Spaces and Seeking Inspiration: Iversen’s Creative Processes
Johannes Holt Iversen values specific elements in his workspace to facilitate creativity. A sink, a French-press coffee maker, and a space bathed in natural light are quintessential to his practice. The artist’s adaptability is evident as he has successfully transformed diverse settings, such as hotel rooms and friends’ garages in suburban Denmark, into makeshift studios. These hotel rooms, akin to compact artist residencies, cater to Iversen’s needs, offering solitude and convenience for late-night creativity.
In terms of artistic influences, Iversen holds in high regard the attitudes and temperaments of artists like Edvard Munch and Asger Jorn. He is also inspired by the prolific workflow of Pablo Picasso, recognizing the value of building an extensive oeuvre. The artist understands that influences evolve and periodically reassesses his sources of inspiration, having last done so in 2016.
A Gaze into the Past and Aspirations for the Future: Holt Iversen’s Artistic Journey
The cave paintings of Lascaux and Chauvet are profoundly significant to Johannes Holt Iversen. They have guided him to understand that to truly excel as an artist, one must liberate oneself from the cultural impositions of one’s contemporaries. In his artistic endeavors, Holt Iversen does not confine himself to a preferred medium, instead choosing to explore various forms continuously. Though an analysis of his work may suggest certain predilections, he chooses to refrain from self-imposed definitions.
Looking ahead, the artist harbors aspirations of showcasing his work in a grand solo exhibition at prestigious institutions such as MoMA or Whitney—a vision shared by many young artists. For now, Holt Iversen finds fulfillment in participating in gallery shows across Europe and Asia, viewing these experiences as stepping stones towards larger exhibitions in the future.