Karla Marie Bentzen is an artist, born in Denmark 1983, currently living in Berlin. She already has behind her many shows around Europe.
Her art is a journey between abstract and figurative art, characters of an absurd world, visual games and dark human figures connected to each other. We met her in her studio in Xberg where she passionately told us her story.
Ciao, first of all thanks for your time.
Who’s Karla Marie Bentzen? Tell us about your professional path.
I’ve been drawing since I was a kid. My mother is also an artist and she always encouraged me to draw and do creative stuff. When I was in my early twenties I tried to get into an art school without getting accepted. So I went off to Spain to study dance, but I kept on drawing and it just became clear with time that it was the only thing I really wanted to do. Now I am very grateful that I don´t have a formal art education, I think it made me stronger and more determined about my work. I know, no matter the circumstances, recognition or not, this is what I will always do.
What influences have driven your style nowadays?
Of course I get lot’s of inspiration especially from my friends and other artists too. But essentially I think, also all those disturbances and all the knocks I get in life, I think they are really great sources of inspiration and motivation to draw. My style kind of moves in two directions. One very figurative and the other more abstract with patterns. I hope to be able to combine both more in the future.
How would you describe your approach to art?
Art to me is a place to escape to, where I set my own rules. It means a lot to me having this place, if I haven’t worked for a while I get very restless. It also works like a meditation for me, especially when I’m drawing patterns. They help me to bring order to the mess of my mind. That’s also why I’m now working on a mandala coloring book for grown-ups. I think that art has a great healing power and I hope that more people benefits from it.
Technically speaking, what steps do you take to complete a painting?
Well I guess it starts with my head which is always full of images, then my sketchbook full of doodles. Mostly I work on paper, just by pen and gouache. There are not so many steps, I actually just paint. Sometimes directly, sometimes I plan it very well first, if it’s a more complicated drawing with intricate patterns. I like working by hand, I never color or change my work on the computer.
What do you love to do besides your work?
Flamenco dancing and gardening.
Where’s your favorite place on the planet?
Well, I don´t have any specific favorite place. I like a lot of different places, but if I should say one it must be Berlin, that´s where my home is and there’s a reason for that.
Any exhibitions or new projects coming up?
I’m working on two big projects at the moment, both are collaborations with other artists. The first one coming up is an exhibition I’m doing with a Chilean photographer Hector Olguin, in Paris at the beginning of April. The other project, which I’m also very excited about, is called “Crime of Passion” and it’s a collaboration with the cake maker Lucy Locket from Berlin. It will be an edible exhibition based on infamous tales of lust, betrayal and pure rage!