Bjørn Båsen (1981) achieved his Bachelor of Fine Art (Hons) degree at The Art Institute of Bournemouth, UK, before he received a Master of Fine Art at The National Academy of Art in Oslo. Båsen works with a wide range of materials: textile, leather, porcelain, wood and oil paint to mention some, expressed using a variety of media: paintings, sculpture and installation.
His visual language refers to rococo style, romanticism and bourgeoisie aesthetics. As the artist himself grew up in an old bourgeois home, an old farm with rosettes in the ceiling, the decadence was in the walls. This has affected Båsens art in a way that concerns the duality in the morals of society’s upper class, who has always had a great impact on politics. In his art, one can see a new world where he mixes elements from different social and cultural classes and combines them in to finished works.
The nature of beauty is one of the most enduring and controversial themes in Western philosophy, and is a fundamental issue in philosophical aesthetics. Even though the concept of beauty can be seen as a simple concept in contemporary art, Båsen takes advantage of its seductive effect. The viewer is drawn to what is beautiful, but then there is a hidden unpleasantness behind it. He refers to this as the Wagner-effect, because he was a composer that was associated with the pompous, as he made the grotesque in to beautiful music.
This effect can especially be seen in the Taffel-series, where Båsen uses the beauty of porcelain and pastel. However, luring in the background are different shadows of war scenes and human torture, yet the paintings are appealing to the eye of the spectator. The series was inspired by the fact that a great deal of the bourgeois in Europe was led on by the basic ideas of Nazism. In the series the porcelain, the bourgeois gold, turns in to something dangerous and threatening.
My Mouldy Avenue is a new project where Båsen will create a “world building” within an art context. The term “world building” is used to describe the method used to provide a fictional world an inner logic and thus provide a credible fiction where the action takes place. The project is regarded as a long-term series of exhibitions in which all evolve around several graphic novels. He has now exhibitedAscent at Galleri Brandstrup, as the first part of a series that will illustrate different aspects of this world. Here the main work in the exhibition was the first volume of the comic, while the paintings and sculptures showed worked as extensions of the story building of the fictional mythology.
Bjørn Båsen has been represented by Galleri Brandstrup since 2008.