Based in Los Angeles, Mikael B is an urban contemporary artist whose work focuses on transforming experience into abstract design. Influenced by his early years as a graffiti artist, Mikael B uses a mixture of spray and acrylic paint to create his dynamic conceptual works. Taking inspiration from the refracted shapes of Cubism, Mikael B’s artwork focuses on both depth and form, echoing the style of Picasso, but with a street art twist and a pop of colour. Finding fame through the power that is social media, this Danish artist continues to blur the lines between street art and abstraction with an unmistakable style that has won him critical acclaim across the globe.
Born in 1984, Mikael Brandrup was raised in Holbæk, Denmark. From a young age, Brandrup exhibited a strong need to express himself visually, drawing continuously both at school and within his free time. Acknowledging his passion and raw talent, his parents encouraged his creative pursuits, providing him with spray paints and large plywood panels to practice with. This ignited a life-long love of street art for Brandrup, which has become the foundation of much of his artwork. As a teenager, Brandrup quickly became part of Copenhagen’s graffiti scene in Sydhavnen, where he painted hundreds of walls under the moniker ‘KETS’.
After completing national military service, Brandrup - still fuelled by his love of colour and the artistic use of shapes – decided to study graphic design. However, Brandrup’s wish for independence and his natural entrepreneurial flair led him to stop his studies before completing his training, and instead, start up a design agency with his twin brother.
Although focussing on the agency full time, Brandrup never abandoned his artistic dreams and continued to create artwork in his spare moments, sharing his works to his supporters on social media. In 2014, Brandrup’s work, Vibrant World, a typographical masterpiece went viral, receiving over one million views on Facebook. This immediately launched Brandrup’s career, which since has grown meteorically. Following his newfound success, the artist sold the agency and moved to Los Angeles with his brother in order to pursue his artistic career.
In 2016, Brandrup had his first ever solo exhibition, Just Be, in Copenhagen, Denmark. The exhibition was extremely successful and sold out within days. This set a precedent for Brandrup, as with every year following, his solo exhibitions continued to sell out without fail. His debut show in 2017 at Los Angeles’ Gregorio Escalante gallery proved the same, in addition to, Never Tomorrow in 2018, Brandrup’s largest exhibition in Copenhagen to date. His continued success proves that the appetite for Brandrup’s unique graffiti graphic style shows no signs of slowing. Commercially, Brandrup’s style proves equally successful, as within this period Brandrup also collaborated with many globally renowned brands, including Bentley Motors, LinkedIn, Google, Nike and Mercedes.
In 2020, Mikael B joined Maddox Gallery, exhibiting as part of a group exhibition within our Los Angeles gallery. In May 2021, Brandrup will have his first solo exhibition with Maddox Gallery, Los Angeles, entitled Flow State. The exhibition is informed by geometric abstraction and surrealism and will explore the tangible and intangible world.