Jacob Dahlstrup

Art - Interview

1. When did you start making art?

As most people I started drawing and messing around with paint at a very young age, however unlike most people I haven’t stopped doing so.

I wouldn’t necceraly categorize any of my earliest work as “art”, although I actually really like the naïve expression some of these works have.
I have been working full time as a professional artist since graduating from The Glasgow School of Art in 2010. 

2. How would you describe your artwork?

Allow me to refer to my artist statement: Key to my practice is a process of calculated spontaneity and pre planned coincidence through which I work primarily with a combination of drawing and installation. I aim to engage physically in the process of mark making which have led me to develop a technique of hand embossing paper with a tattoo needle. Through merging of material and context I seek to communicate through the visual language of nautical folklore and traditional tattooing. With the pencil as my rudder and a needle as my compass I navigate through the tides and rogue waves of the human condition in our struggle to reach the non-existing point in the horizon.

3. What are the tools you use to make art

Graphite pencils, silverpoint, rubbers, tattoo needles, blowtorches, dremels etc.

4. It says you have used a tattoo needle for a few of your pieces. How was that like?

How it was? It was interesting to say the least. Actually the tattooing or “hand embossing with a tattoo needle” technique as I call it, has developed to be my main process in my practice these days. I use the tip of the needles to work into the surface of specially selected paper to create a change in the pulp in a way so it rises from the surface. It is very delicate and of course very light and white work as there is no pigment or anything. It’s an interesting contrast to my often heavy and dark graphite drawings.

5. Does anyone or anything inspire/influence your artwork?

Yes of course, I get influence by everything I see in someway or another. At the moment I am taking a break from my studio, working at the National Gallery in Copenhagen as an art handler. I have access to the whole collection and their depots with the most amazing work from all periods in the art history.
I am really inspired by a number of the old masters and especially the print masters like Albrecht Dürer. Yesterday I was fortunately enough to pack out a original5x3m woodcut print of Dürer for the conservationist.

6. What is your favorite part about being an artist?

The freedom I guess. And – although its not always easy – to do be able to support myself by doing what I really love.

7.Where are you currently working or living?

I live and work in Copenhagen, Denmark. 

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