This fortnight we’re super psyched to sit down and chat with Danish Artist Welin, who has lately been lighting up walls all over the world. Welin has the energy to burn and most certainly directs this into his lively mural work, fusing bright colours with contrasting tones to really make his work come to life, creating super dense pieces that completely absorb your eyes and attention.
Welin obviously also likes to have fun with his work, whether he’s painting celebrities like Action Bronson, including a self-portrait of himself into a wild wild west scene or turning ‘Otto’ from the Simpsons into a zombie, you can’t help but appreciate the kids work!
Welin came through Australia earlier in 2017 and we were lucky enough to include him into the Wall to Wall Festival lineup for 2017, as well as host him on a number of Melbourne projects allowing him to make the most of his trip. We also got the chance to sit down with him- let’s see what he has to say.
JUDDY – Hey Welin, what’s good?
WELIN – Hey team. I’m doing perfect, at the moment I’m taking a half year of classical art training. I always try and improve my skill set in different mediums. Painting happens mostly on the weekends, for now!
JUDDY – Where are you at the moment?
WELIN – I live in Copenhagen, the capital of my home country Denmark.
JUDDY – What’s your drink of choice?
WELIN – Beer…
JUDDY – That makes sense since you’re from Denmark. Are you a night owl or early bird?
WELIN – Both, it comes in periods. I like to start painting early in the morning so I’m working the first half of the day when the streets aren’t busy.
JUDDY – Do you prefer painting indoors or outdoors?
WELIN – Definitely outdoors- I guess it’s why I chose to do street art. I like being at a street corner painting for days, you experience the area from a different perspective. Also, the fumes don’t really work well when indoors.
JUDDY – How old were you when you first picked up a spray can?
WELIN – It was during high school when I was 18 years old. I was living in a small town. I contacted a local graffiti writer who took me out painting and helped me get inside the graffiti culture. I started out painting inside creepy stables and abandoned tunnels way out in the countryside where no one ever saw my pieces. I was painting children’s bedrooms to get some cash. By promoting myself in the social media it didn’t take me long to get better jobs and get invited to graffiti events in Denmark.
JUDDY – Gotta start somewhere! What were you doing before you started painting walls?
WELIN – I always had a sense for drawing and painting. But before graffiti, I was a kid with more regular interests like badminton and soccer.
JUDDY – Do you have any formal art degree?
WELIN – I don’t have an art degree, the most of my skills I learned from painting on the streets. I’ve been taking one year of contemporary art school and one year of classical drawing school (Russian style). Also, painting commissions taught me a lot, since I throw myself into painting other subjects than what I usually would.
JUDDY – Are there any particular genres or themes that influence your aesthetic?
WELIN – I love choosing a humorous subject for my paintings, it makes it stick out from all this serious art in the street. Right now my friend Balstrøm and I paint movie poster themes with our self-portrait in them as the main characters. We already did Indiana Jones, Ned Kelly, Beauty and the beast and 300.
JUDDY – Do you ever experiment with other mediums, or do you like aerosol too much?
WELIN – Spraypaint is my weapon of choice. I do life drawing as much as I can. I do a lot of pencil and pastel drawings. Because of my urge to travel and move around I haven’t had much opportunity to do canvas paintings, but since we are setting up an artist studio collective in Copenhagen, I might be doing that soon.
JUDDY – As a younger character in the street art world, do you feel like there’s more opportunity in this era, to be successful as a street artist?
WELIN – I feel blessed being a part of the street art culture in this age of time. Street art seems to be peaking right now. Almost everyone I know in the culture is from an older generation, it helps a lot, some of them have already been travelling the world and they are really kind sharing their network with me. I also learn a lot of techniques from older characters. When this is said, it still took a lot of hard work to get up. There is a lot of competition out there.
JUDDY – What did you enjoy most about Australia?
WELIN – I really enjoyed the hospitality of the Australians I met. I spent three months in Australia and paid for only two nights of sleep. The rest of the time I was treated with nice bedrooms in interesting creative communities. I want to thank the people from Everfresh Studio for all the help they gave me.
I felt the graffiti community in Melbourne was the best I’ve experienced, I’ve never been a place like Fitzroy where paintings are everywhere. It seems like the council appreciate street art more than they do in Denmark.
JUDDY – What are your creative plans for the future? Aka when are you coming back to Australia ha?
WELIN – I want to start making more canvas work, and I also want to try and live in another country for more than a year. It could be Melbourne, Berlin etc. I might be coming back in February! Can’t stand the winter in Denmark!
JUDDY – You’re always welcome, mate. Do you have any secret talents?
WELIN – I’ve been able to dance (wave) with my eyebrows ever since I was a little kid, some find it creepy, some find it funny.
JUDDY – That is definitely a talent! Which city would you love to visit most, to work in?
WELIN – I have so many places on my list; Japan, Montreal, Miami. Even a lot of European cities I haven’t been to.
JUDDY – Final question, what would be your dream project to work on?
WELIN – Mmh, making an exhibition in a big abandoned warehouse would be sick.
Thanks for the chat Welin, it’s always good fun with you!
Give Welin a follow on Instagram and follow his movements.