Published May. 04. 2016

Artist of the Month - Rikke Darling

What started out as a form of view on society and women for me, it has probably become more a view of nature for me now. I am interested in biology. The biology within us, and the biology around us.

Watch the interview here

Can you talk a little bit about yourself as an artist and as a person?

I have worked with communication and clothing designs and as an illustrator until 10 years ago, when I decided to focus on the arts.

You work in the abstract. Have you always done that?

No. I actually started figuratively. With a background in illustration and fashion design, I started out with a female figure, which I called Style Girl, where the message was found in the actual figure. When making fashion drawings, one manipulates the female figure slightly. One gives her a little more curve in lower back and she gets a little too long arms and legs. She is always on high heels. It is not the face that is in focus. It is the body and the posture that is in focus, because it must support selling another product. The body is not something in itself. It would simply support the clothes in being sold.

In art, we like the imperfect. There has to be some signs of aging, a few wrinkles, some characteristics. It is OK to look a little weird and have a bit of fat on the side because that is where the body will be expressive. But in fashion design and advertising it is just the opposite. You must be as polished as possible. You should be as close to standard as possible.

That I found interesting. The way we considered the image of a woman. So I used this female figure and put her into all sorts of situations, and then she started to enter some abstract universes. Over the years it happens that she becomes smaller and smaller. She shrinks. And today she has disappeared.

So you've gone from something fairly impersonal, like having to sell a product, to the abstract with elements of something figuratively. One senses some growths among the abstract shapes?

Yes. It's kind of in the eyes of the beholder. In fact, it is a bit of a micro / macro biological expression. I like the repetition that we find in nature.

You work full time as an artist now. Why?

It was probably really what I always wanted. I just like to create something. And today I can also like to paint things on a T-shirt or a stool or a table and to use the art for something else. I like that things are useful and enters into everyday life.

In reality, I was more fascinated by the way, we saw the woman. The way we saw things in relation to the fashion industry, more than I was fascinated by creating a collection of clothes. And it turned out so that when I saw some design, then I was fascinated by a particular feature or structure. The fascination of some items I could in a completely different way express when it was art.

What started out as a form of view on society and women for me, it has probably become more a view of nature for me now. I am interested in biology. The biology within us, and the biology around us.

With the pattern of consumption we have in the world today, we have distanced ourselves from nature. Nature is something we abuse to create something we can use for something else. What I try to show in my art is, that we are part of nature. We are nature.

It sounds as if you hold both a message and a curiosity?

I have no conclusions. I just come up with some ideas and dreams of how we could consider ourselves and nature. And then I would like to create some universes where we can swim away and dream a little and feel some sensations. It must have some effect on our psyche, but we do not need to define what exactly it is doing.

How long have you been in your shop in Østerbro/Copenhagen?

At this address during four years, but all of my studios have been located in Copenhagen.

Is Østerbro where you originate from?

I have lived just outside Copenhagen, but I went to school as a child in Østerbro, so I'm probably from Copenhagen.

When were you born? How old are you?

I was born in 1975, so I'm 41. Most artists are mature, when then decide to become artists on full time.

Do you have some ideas about where you are headed as an artist?

I'm moving into something more three-dimensional. I work with ceramic forms that are completely white. So it is about sculpture. These are the kinds of shapes found in the paintings, which turn into three-dimensional shapes.

So now the woman might step back out of the painting again?

She might do that. So far it is completely abstract forms, but there is no knowing what may happen.

It may come full circle someday?

It could well be. I am actually pondering to do some printing on textile as well.

Back to the fashion industry?


It's an exciting journey. I'm glad to be allowed to visit you, and I hope it will go well for you. Both in a 2-dimentional and a 3-dimentional understanding.

Thanks. It's certainly an exciting journey to be on!

Rikke Darling web site

Buy ARTMONEY by Rikke Darling HERE