Frederik Stadager: An Artist Who Gets Under The Skin of Society:
Frederik Stadager is a young artist from Copenhagen; adopted from India (it will play a role later). He has been drawing since he was a little child. But more importantly, he feels that he has always had a way of viewing what happens around him, in a much more visual context than most. Meaning that he notices what happens and what he sees, also below the surface of what happens.
That coupled with his love of the dark and gloomy, the things you are not supposed to talk about, inspires his art a great deal. He feels that these things that might be difficult or taboo to talk about, can be communicated freely and much more detailed, through art. So what you hear and feel, see and observe, what lies underneath that, unsaid, has always spoken to him and fascinated him.
Becoming an artist:
Though Frederik has always been drawing since he was very little, he only just started painting in 2012.
His first try at the painting art medium, was with a series he calls the “Art of Fine Living”. He has for example, donated an art piece with a headless upper-class gentleman, to Mediazink (which can be bought on the page or in our lounge in Copenhagen).
A lot of inspiration from still-leben, old horror and thriller movies:
His fascination with the macabre, the dark and the gloomy… it probably comes from his love of the old Hannibal movies, as well as the dark gloomy German still-leben art-style. That has then turned into a lot of pictures since then. But where he stands out from other, is with what he puts in his pictures. It is all things that exist in real life, which he then poses into settings, which he then uses for his paintings.
But in 2012, when he was done with the first picture for his first series, he thought to himself “that went way better than he expected and turned out great”. Then he started painting instead of drawing.
Fascinated with the body:
He is very inspired by biology as well, and the history of how we humans came to be. All the way back to ancient cavemen, homo-erectus and the like. Especially in the way, that when you remove all the modern stuff from us and our bodies, then it is the same basic needs as the cavemen, that we want satisfied.
As many serial killers would also say, there are 2 kinds of people, sheep and wolfs, and he is fascinated with the wolves. The human body is also truly fantastic and a biological combination of all sorts of things. In general he believes that he sees humans and the body, for what they truly are, instead of all the things we add to them.
The idea that we are probably, when it comes down to it, are all the same, when it comes to our bodies. That is what interests and inspires him. It sounds kind of banal, but there is a tendency with how we humans, are so good at adding words and definitions, to explain what we are. But if you remove all those things, then it is all about survival.
Fascinated with what is not said:
But when all is said, he has just always had a fascination with the unspoken and the understated. That the body can both be used for good, as well as it can be used for evil. So he kind of sees a neutral potential within us all and our bodies.
It is interesting how some people, can close their eyes to the fact, that some people can be a very specific sort of character. He has always been fascinated by characters such as Hannibal Lecter, who makes you think, wow you could actually exist. It makes you look at other people and think, what has not been said? And you think, how did humans turn out the way they did?
As an example, his headless man, in one of his paintings. Everything about him is as it should be, a proper upper-class posh fellow. He just doesn’t have a head. Somewhere in his art, he seeks what triggers. The place where you think what the hell? The rest is as it should be though…
A moment contemplating body-art:
When it comes to body-art, he has had a little fascination. However, it is very difficult to talk about tattoos, as tattoos are so subjective and everyone has their own story. You can however feel pretty annoyed, with fashion tattoos. Where the popular culture dictates, what the right tattoo is for people and so on.
But he chooses to believe, as he has done with his own tattoos, that most people think before they get a tattoo, that they know why it has to be, exactly that specific tattoo. He actually drew his own tattoo of Shiva, when he went to India for to meet his biological parents. So there is a story to his tattoo, and thoughts behind it. That is how it is with a lot of tattoos; however some tattoos can quickly be a bit much for him. In his own taste, he prefers the underplayed understated, that tells a story.
Currently he is working on a pretty long series of paintings that he estimates will take him 7 years. It is inspired by Dantes Divine Comedy, his ideas and thoughts about hell, and his trip through hell with Vergil. Especially purgatory, has fascinated Frederik. The painter Botticelli, painted a painting many years ago, that became iconic for how we view the devil and hell. His hell is divided into 7 circles/levels, one for each deadly sin. Where hell is a mountain you walk up, where you pass through every sin and get cleansed of it, before you in the end, get out of hell.
It has inspired countless different products, videogames, movies, books and more. All about Dantes version of hell or inspired by it. But Frederik would love to create 7 different paintings, big canvasses, each portraying a deadly sin. However, the catch would be, that he wants to create them without faces and heads, the challenge being in portraying something like lust, without a face to convey expressions. How you do that, without the eyes that observe and desire. So that is his future project.
Final Comments and Gallery:
In the light of his art and fascination with the body, and the unspoken. If you want to understand his art, you have to understand that Frederik views the human body, as an empty vessel. A vessel that then fits into society more or less, in one way or another. A vessel that you can pour experiences, feelings and desires etc. into. But when you remove all that, it is just a vessel. Fitting more or less into the norms of society. He would probably recommend that people seek out the unspoken, for that is where life gets exciting.
Please keep your eye on Mediazink for more awesome articles, and should you want to see more of Frederik’s art, go find him on Instagram and Facebook etc. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, YouTube and Instagram (@Mediazink_Official), for more awesome articles and other content.