‘‘Over the course of my practice, my works focussed itself on depicting the impact humanity has on its surroundings. After canvases during an extensive trial period showed distinct similarities to human-made industrial landscapes, especially mining operations, my aim gravitated towards trying to investigate how to utilise artworks in depiction of environmental causes, asking questions on how I can put the centre of attention on destruction of nature for natural resources and the ineluctable damage it does to the planet.
Over time the use of paint has been almost replaced by various types of chemicals and metals, which are applied onto the canvas in different methods and undergo an accelerated process of oxidization by treating them with certain varieties of acids and other chemicals, as well as exposing them to the elements, transforming the surface of the work into a textural, structural and physical form, giving it a sense of urgency. By utilising chemical reactions, I invite the element of chance into the creation of my works, where at prominent parts my interference is limited within a system of carefully set restraints. The intricacy of the subject matter is reflected in the techniques used, creating a highly varied surface structure that draws the viewer in, demands a close inspection and submits one to an immersive experience, interplaying between depth and surface, the ephemeral and the concrete.
Instead of replicating actual, natural appearing landscapes, the works embrace the notion of the obstructed, the obscure, the deceptive, the ephemeral, within the context of an area of tension suspended between the abstraction of imagery and the representation of figurative subjects.
Via this use of the selected materials and processes, I continue to invigorate my own practice and investigate what I understand as the fundamentals of being an experimental painter, trying to grasp and expand upon the notion of painting as sculptural entity, a memorial for the past and a battlefield of modern times.’’
Kristian Askelund (b. 1984) works predominantly in the medium of mixed media paintings, but occasionally includes video, photography and sculpture in his practice. Between 2004 and 2011 Askelund completed one semester in Biotechnology, moved on to Film Directing and finally studied Fine Arts.
His works have been exhibited in galleries and museums as part of various group exhibitions in Spain, Italy, France, the UK, Germany and in the USA among others, as well as in solo shows in Berlin, Oslo and Hamburg. Askelund's works are part of private collections in Europe, the USA and Australia.
He currently lives and works in Berlin.