In South West Denmark, we met with artist Adam Gabriel at his house and studio for a talk about art, life and the place he calls home. Evil tongues sometimes call this area “the outskirts of Denmark” but Adam has another perspective on “Tøndermarsken” - a rural area, where even the trees have to bend for the force of Mother Nature.

 

Adam, what made you fall in love with this place more than 25 years ago?

Having lived in Rome, Paris and travelled all over the world, it was when I came to this place that I really fell in love with my surroundings. Here, Denmark not only meets Germany but also the sky, sea, earth and water. I live in wild nature and have a two-hour drive to the eighth largest city of Europe with all of its culture and connectivity to the rest of the world. I don’t live at the outskirts of Denmark. Look at Aarhus - Aarhus isn’t remotely near a big city. So what are really the outskirts?...

 

 


...Here, I can immerse myself in nature, my art and in myself. My home is where I feel good - and I feel good here. I look for myself in nature, in culture and in other people. Where you like to live - that’s your home. I have two acres of land and am surrounded by nature in its wildest form. The summers don’t get hotter than here - autumn winds don’t get more dramatic than here. I can look out the window and see ducks, birds, foxes and deer. That’s just amazing. Life is beautiful when you think beautifully.

 

 

 

 

 


You are not a fan of big cities?

I am - I love to visit big cities and dive into its culture. But I wouldn’t want to live there. In the city, you lose touch with yourself. Everything is about appointments, meetings, making it to the next meeting, transport, people and chaos. It’s impossible to be a human being. You get environmental experiences, not personal experiences. The city somehow takes over…


 


...I mean, you see all these Japanese people flicking their Nikons and taking tons of photos, but where are they? Are they present? City life is so fast-paced that you have to take a yoga class to relax. Here, I have yoga when I look out the window. Cities are big on buildings, not on nature. My home has to be a place, where you can see the sunset and the sunrise; you can’t do that in the city centre.

 

 

What brought you to Denmark?

A job opening brought me to Denmark. Apart from making my own art and exhibiting in galleries, I also teach croquis, drawing and painting techniques at "Højer Design Efterskole" and at "Sønderjyllands Kunstskole". That initially brought me to Denmark - and then, I fell in love with the rough nature.





 

What are you trying to express with your art?

I look for the human in my art. What is it like to be human? I look for the truth in myself and in others - frustration, longing, silence, light, darkness and the long nights. I’m trying to answer questions of social realism - like where are we going? Do we have an understanding of what love is, when we live in a country where half of us are singles and half of all marriages end in misery? In some way, I deal with our misunderstanding of life. We live in a distorted truth, where it’s all about shouting the loudest and less about being genuine and authentic. On Instagram, I actually see more commercials than people. It is as if life has become one big commercial surrounding itself with lights and colours - it is less about contemplation.

 


One could argue that your art seems a bit dark?

Maybe - but I could ask: Is it possible to explore the answer of “where are we going” with a smiling face? I don’t think so. It’s about experimenting, and I want to make the viewer think about the expression of my art in an indirect and abstract way.



When looking at your home and your studio, it almost looks like two different worlds?

It is indeed. I need two spaces in my life. My base - a pleasant room with beautiful furniture that provides me with rest, helps me slow down, pause and reflect. I am quite fond of traditional Danish furniture design like Hans Wegner and Børge Mogensen. Quality materials and designs that will last a lifetime and mature over time. Things that are worth investing in. I guess that goes for all the things I own. I don’t own much, but what I do own is of great quality - it pays off in the long run. I prefer handmade Italian leather shoes and also garments that will last. Classic and genuine outfits - I feel comfortable in things that last. It’s also about enjoying this journey called life...



...My studio is a contrast to my house and living room. This is my second space. Here, I can express myself, immerse myself in my art, have paint splatter on the floors and walls and make a mess without having to clean up afterwards. Here, I can check in and out, when new ideas require exploring. It’s my personal playground - a place of excitement, without boundaries and rules. It’s all about balance. A space for the wild, untamed heart and also a silent space, where I feel grounded and relax. And I need both. If I do not draw or paint every day, I cannot sleep restfully.



On the pictures Adam is wearing our:

Miguel Brilliante Shirt // Nonno Knit Waistcoat // Carlos Chino

Repi Jeans // Sagi SS T-Shirt // Vittorio Etna Overshirt



Follow and explore the art of Adam on Instagram





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