Continuing with our previous series highlighting movers and shakers in Oslo’s music scene, our next guest you’ve probably seen behind the counter at Cafe Mono; photo-documenting passages across the US; selling her paintings at hot gallery-shows; and gracing us with her inexorably good taste in music. Meet the ever-graceful Anne Marte Archer.
You are a kickass artist. How long have you been painting? What’s your favorite medium? Do you like painting on huge canvasses or itsy-bitsy detailed drawings.
Hah, thanks. My main thing is oil painting. It´s a difficult medium to master, so it´s a love/hate relationship. I think anyone can become decent in drawing with enough practise, but to become a good painter is something else entirely. Which is why I´m always on the verge of giving it all up. I would miss the smell of turpentine too much, though. I prefer big canvasses but I like to get lost in the details of things, and sometimes work with more small scaled drawings.
Who are you some of yr inspirations?
There are so many. But these days and specifically in painting I´m inspired by Leonard Richard and Luc Tuymans. William Copley, his stuff is both funny and beautiful, and David Hockney has been a long time favorite. I went to a brilliant exhibition by Wilhelm Sasnal at Sadie Coles in London last spring, and those paintings are still on my mind.
You recently migrated to became a kinda Northern hermit princess. Tell us about it.
Well, I was sick and tired of walking along the same routes around Youngstorget. The routine, the scene, the human drama. Coming down with the damn it all blues, I needed a change of scenery and to be alone for a while. So I packed my paint and brushes, a box of books and a fishing rod and went up north. And here I am, on a small deserted island called Holmen, 33 nautical miles from the mainland, just above the polar circle. My great grandparents used to live here, and the house is still in good condition. And there´s a big boat house where I have my studio, overlooking a sandy white beach and the sea. At first I felt slightly uneasy being all alone, with the wind howling and the old house making strange noises. But by now I feel completely at home. I´m spending my time painting, reading and writing. Walking around the island, watching the sea and the sky, breathing, enjoying the silence and the solitude. Sheer pleasure.
Do you miss bartending at Cafe Mono?
Nope. I miss my colleagues and friends there, though. A lovely bunch of people.
What book is sitting by your bed?
Beneath the Underdog, an autobiography by Charles Mingus; A Short life of trouble: Fourty years in the new york art world by Marcia Tucker, and Norway’s Birdlife.
What do you do to “splurge”?
I spend most of the money I have on vinyl, so there´s nothing left for splurging on expensive shoes or fine wining and dining.
Favorite item of clothing.
A pair of classic brown leather shoes. I´ve been searching high and low for a pair of men´s shoes that’s small enough, and finally found them at a secondhand market in Tirana.
Leather or lace?
What’s your drink? (or drink-s)
It depends on the mood and the occasion but I`m usually happy with a good beer. An old fashioned, or a sidecar if it´s cocktail hour. Fernet for those wild nights.
Any memorable concerts recently? Did you go see the Swans (hint hint wink wink)?
Hehe, yeah, the Swans were legendary. Loud and dark! So intense, the way they brought the audience and themselves to the brink of exhaustion. Gira´s recent solo show at JD was pretty great as well. There were so many good shows this winter. I got to see both Death in June and Martin Rev for the first time, which was cool. Gillian Welch and David Rawlings . Mulatu Astatke. Marshall Allen.
Five desert island discs?:
Shit, that´s a hard one. Ask me again tomorrow and the list would probably be a completely different one, but right now I would pick:
Charles Mingus – The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady
Faust – Faust IV
Gil Scott-Heron – I´m New Here
Bill Withers – Still Bill
Linda Perhacs – Parallelograms
View and keep updated with Anne Marte’s latest gallery shows at: http://