We interview Danish mural artist ”No Title” who works with murals, gable paintings, street art as well as other types of art in public spaces. His black and white paintings can be found on walls in Denmark and abroad which are especially characterized by their clean expression, resulting in evocative visual worlds. Influenced by the tension in human thought processes and relations, his work is inspired by organic structures in nature and the systems of the body.
(ISSA) -What would you like to drink? Coffee, Tea, Beer, Soda or something else?
(No Title) – I will definitely have a beer.
– Introduce yourself to us – as if we had no idea who you were!
I am a Danish artist working under the artist name No Title. I try to paint as many walls as I can get away with, replacing blank walls with murals one at a time. My work can probably best be described as minimal murals with monochrome color schemes and symmetrical, ornamental designs. I often choose to work in pure black and white, but not exclusively.
-Where does your artist name come from?
The artist name No Title is a way to remove myself and whatever random back story I might have from the experience of the artworks. It is the kind of non-title you could label a painting with if you were forced to give it a name, but wanted to give the viewers the freedom to use their own instincts and imagination. The human brain is amazing in the way that it will try to fill in missing pieces with something meaningful to create a whole. In the same way, No Title is a placeholder that lets you fill in the blank with whatever you need. Insert your own story here.
-How do you define yourself and why? Artist? Street artist? Something else?
Good question. I am personally mystified by why anyone would want to enforce boundaries between labels like street art, graffiti, graphic design or contemporary art. For some reason, categories and cultural barriers are important to many people, but it really restricts your outlook on the world to focus too much on putting artistic genres in neat little boxes. No art form has ever magically sprung into existence without being heavily influenced by others and they are all related anyway.
I try to find my own place somewhere in the intersections between mural traditions, street art, contemporary art and design. That being said, you could call me a visual artist who paints murals, mostly in the street. Recently I have used the term mural artist.
-How did it all start for you, and what is it nowadays?
In the early nineties I started painting murals on walls at peoples’ houses. If someone gave me a wall, I would do a painting on it. Some graffiti friends had tried bringing me along on random painting expeditions, but I found it more interesting to spend more time on drawings and intricate wall pieces, so I was never a part of that particular scene.
Through the years I have worked within different artistic genres but I have returned to the murals because they for some reason come naturally to me. Painting walls in the street is a much more direct way of communicating with an audience compared to traditional art shows. There is a ton of feedback from the passersby throughout the entire process because I am altering a surface in the public space.
-What is the first thing you do when you get up in the morning?
I immediately regret it.
-Street art is mostly a visually stimulating form of art. To add one more sense to it, what music would you pick to accompany your art work?
Something really hypnotic and repetitive.
-In all forms of art, inspiration is crucial. What inspires you and how does that end up in your art?
It’s hard to say exactly. The starting point can be an organic structure in nature or the body, like some random detail I have seen in tree, a leaf or something on the ground. Usually I don’t start with a well-defined idea but start with sketching something that is interesting or puzzling to me and then rework it several times and see where it takes me.
-What is the hardest part while working on a piece of art?
I spend a lot of time sketching and developing images digitally. I have a painstaking associative process of creating a large amount of different variations of an image, reiterating them again and again. I try a lot of different ideas until I finally select the right sketch to finish up, then removing all unnecessary details to achieve the simplest possible expression. I want the paintings to be simple visual statements that can be perceived instantly. At the same time I also want them to make the viewer curious.
-Do you have any artist(s) you admire? Can you pinpoint what it is that makes them so special for you?
To me an interesting artwork is something that reaches out of the wall, triggers my curiosity and makes me wonder what the hell is going on. It has to hit me in the gut and make me want more. To me, the visual impact and emotional connection is much more important than technical skill. I don’t need to fully comprehend the piece, but it has to have something that it wants to communicate or make me feel.
I admire the work of many different street artists and muralists within many different styles. A few of them are Wasp Elder, Helen Bur, Pyramid Oracle, CityzenKane, ROA, Phlegm and many, many more.
-Which cities are the most inspiring for you as an artist?
I have an ongoing love affair with London. The areas of the city that are completely saturated with street art make me happy and hopeful for the human race – like the eclectic diversity of styles emerging in every nook and cranny of Shoreditch.
On the other hand I enjoy painting in smaller towns in Denmark far away from cities like Copenhagen. Because street art is not all that ubiquitous in these places, there is a different kind of curiosity towards the art that helps me see my work from a different perspective.
-What other passions do you have apart from art?
-Tell us a bit more about your art; does it include symbolisms, messages or repeated patterns? How has it evolved?
My goal is to instill a feeling or initiate a thought process rather than transfer a particular message in my paintings. I purposely work and rework the visual elements so they vibrate between different meanings. In this way I hope to open up a different channel of communication to inspire new thoughts and ideas – rather than just convey my own opinions.
A recurring element in my paintings is the branching structure. I keep returning to this element because it is such a universal principal that can be found inside the body, in nature and as a fundamental logical structure in our thought processes. Another element is the wave which can have both literal references to water and more abstract references to brain functions, mental processes and human relations.
– How long time does your art work, on walls, usually survive for?
It varies a lot. Sometimes the murals are temporary and only last for a few weeks or months, and sometimes they are permanent. Well, as permanent as murals can be. The beauty of this art form is that nothing is really permanent in the long run.
-What do you think, people feel or think of, when they see one of your works on the street?
After I am done with a mural, it has a life of its own. As long as it has some sort of impact on the people who see it and makes them think or feel something, I am happy.
-What are your creative plans for the future?
More walls. Bigger walls.
Thank you! It’s been great to get to know more about the mind and person behind such inspiring works.
‘’I Support Street Art’’ team.