Published Feb. 12. 2018

Traveling with artmoney

A good friend and artist, Lars H.U.G., asked me to travel with him to the island of Gran Canary, Spain, for a month...

VIDEO - "A walk through Soppa de Azul"

The Danish fairytale author, H. C. Anderson, is often quoted for saying: "To travel is to live."

A good friend and artist, Lars H.U.G., asked me to travel with him to the island of Gran Canary, Spain, for a month. He needed to get away from the cold and dark winter in Denmark to find refuge in the warm climate of a tropical island.

It sounded like a great idea, but how could we raise the money? We agreed to produce the cost of such an expedition in artmoney and try to exchange it into cool cash. After a week of hard labor we had painted nearly all the artmoney needed to cover the trip. I arranged an exhibition in the Artmoney Gallery for the following week and invited as many guests as possible with a short notice.

The artmoney was a collaborative work where we had both painted on each piece. This exercise turned out a very interesting expression with a mix of our styles. It inspired us to pursue a series of collaborative artworks during the month away from home.

On the very day of the opening reception we sold the entire collection of artmoney and within a few days we had bought the tickets and booked the accommodation in Las Palmas de Gran Canary. It was quite a rush to “invent” the financial means out of nothing within such a short time!

100 Lars+Lars artmoney to pay for our travels

In Las Palmas de Gran Canary we were lucky to rent a studio space in the basement of the collective workspace, “Soppa de Azul.” The owner, Alecs, turned out to be an amazing person and a great artist. The basement was full of artists while the upstairs was full of desk top office workers – the so called “Digital Nomads.” Some of the basement-artists began making their own artmoney inspired by our vast production. What we didn’t know was, that Las Palmas is one of the main centers for digital nomads in the world! We bought ten canvases and a bag of paint and began sketching out some images. At the same time we used artmoney as a sketch block for inspiration.

Lars and Lars at work in the bacement of Soppa de Azul

On brakes we sat in the kitchen area and talked with the nomads, which turned out to become a major part of our experience. We met the Norwegian author, Miriam, the Romanian graphic facilitator, Bianca, the British web designer, John, the Colombian jewelry designer, Paola, the Italian painter, Rocco and not the least the Spanish multi artist, Alby.

In the morning I would enjoy my breakfast at the beach side café, The Couple, where digital nomads tended to hang out to drink, eat and surf on the good Internet connection. Nearly each time, I would meet some interesting people at the next table, and I would leave for the studio after breakfast with a full stomach and a head full of new inspiration.

On the “Gran Canaria Digital Nomads” Facebook group I found lots of social events. So we joined several of these meet-ups and met even more, great and talented people like the Norwegian Sigbjørn and the Swedish Joakim. This lead to an extremely active network fueled by lectures, karaoke, dinners and drinks.

Snap shot from one of the digital nomad meet-ups in Las Palmas

Now I am back in Copenhagen and back in my regular routine. Reflecting on the month of “being away” it seems like a full year of dynamic living. A reminder of how lively life can be, when all the senses are exercised with a good friend and fine artist and shared with beautiful people from different cultures. Lars and Lars has become a “third entity” and a new expression has seen the light of day. We are working on refining the style and aim at showing the result of our experience in an exhibition some time, somewhere…the fairytale has just begun.


Lars Christian Kraemmer