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Henrik Vibskov: Graphic Works

Henrik Vibskov on color, seeing people dressed in his clothes, and Scandinavian heritage

by CH Contributor in Culture on 09 February 2010

by Youyoung Lee

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Minutes before Danish fashion designer, DJ and artist Henrik Vibskov attended the opening of his latest exhibition "Graphic Works" at Berlin's Pool Gallery, he answered a few questions for CH. While brushing his teeth, Vibskov opened up about what it is like to be an international multi-dimensional superstar.

There's a lot of emphasis on the three-dimensional "Henrik Visbkov" world. How would you describe that in your words?

It's a different universe sometimes. This time it's more linear, where it looks more clean. Normally it would be a surrounding of a lot of people, and a build up of all kinds of ingredients. It could be more visual installations, or it could be the different identities from uniforms to fashion shows. Also music-wise, we like to create this whole atmosphere. I like quite a bit of colors. It's easier to put colors on paper than it is on clothing. I like when things are very technically advanced. I like to multiply a lot of the same things, like those sticks here [points to a large wooden installation]. I had 3,000 of those sticks. They were produced in Holland, to create a bit dome out of those sticks for a dinner of 70 people. I thought this graphical element might bring something more moody.

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What is your general color scheme?

Sometimes I build up a color combination of three colors. I like the classic black and white and then two colors on top, like a force is kicking in. These are copper prints, so it's like the etching [points to two copper prints]. This is a wood print, that's a color combination of five or six [points to one large wood print]. And then a color combination of 10 is also good—10, five, three and then mono-colors are also good.

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Are you representative of something larger than yourself—Scandinavia or else?

No. I don't know. I'm from Denmark. I grew up in a little bit of a communistic society. In the '70s the school system and the tax system was a very social-based system. Of course, the styles of furniture, I have all those things in mind. But I'm also a little bit outside of the Scandinavian world, because that would be a little bit more clean. And I've also studied in the UK at a crazy school and traveled around the world.

Who are some of the early artists that affected you in your childhood?

Erwin Wurm, I really like his stuff—a little bit twisted world, based on daily things that are kind of twisted silhouette-wise. What else? Color-wise, we have a very good Scandinavian one named Tel R. He has a really good way of color thinking and has extremely good color combinations.

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How does it feel when you are deejaying a party and see kids wearing your clothing?

It was more strange years ago, now I'm a little bit more balanced with it. I was very shy—I really didn't like it, I don't know why. It was worse years ago, now I'm getting better. It's a little funny to talk to a person you don't know, and maybe he or she doesn't know you either, and then he or she is standing in one of your designs.

But that's the ultimate compliment!

Yeah. I'm also very pleased, but it's a little bit strange. Best if I don't recognize it.

Picking the brains of Gestalten's book editors and designers, Youyoung Lee reports to Cool Hunting weekly on what inspires them.

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