Opening in our Los Angeles gallery, Mikael B’s latest exhibition, Flow State, opening on the 1st of May. Available to view both online and in person throughout the month, the exhibition offers total immersion in Mikael B’s world. With a mix of graphic design, graffiti and contemporary art, his kaleidoscopic paintings are as dynamic as they are vibrant. Ahead of his latest show, we talk with Mikael about his journey to becoming an artist and share five things every urban art-lover should know about the successful Danish artist.
MIKAEL B IN HIS STUDIO
Born in Holbæk, Denmark in 1984, it was clear from a young age that Mikael had a strong need to express himself creatively. During his teenage years, the young artist became fascinated with hip hop and its surrounding culture, totally absorbing himself in every facet of the genre, including practicing graffiti and even learning to break dance. Enamoured by the street art world, Mikael quickly became a prominent part of Copenhagen’s graffiti scene in Sydhavnen, where he painted hundreds of walls under his alter ego ‘KETS’. The artist’s rich experience with graffiti has become the foundation of much of his artwork, with Mikael himself citing ‘Wildstyle’ graffiti as ‘the source of all dynamism and energy in his work’.
After being called up for national military service in his early twenties, Mikael was unsure of how to incorporate his love of art into his everyday life. Encouraged by his mother and fuelled by his creativity, the artist decided to undertake a five-year course on graphic design and visual communications. However, after just one and a half years of studying, Mikael’s wish for independence and his natural entrepreneurial flair led him to stop his training, and instead, start up his own thriving design agency with his brother. His education and experience with graphic design shines through in his artwork, especially through his strong use of colour and vibrant arrangements of shapes.
MIKAEL B AT WORK
Mikael B has a non-identical twin brother called Morten who he has worked closely with for the entirety of his career. Describing Morten as the ‘Yin to his Yang’, Mikael’s brother is the mastermind behind the practicalities and logistics of Mikael B’s prosperous career. Joining Mikael in opening their successful design agency in Denmark, as well as moving with his brother to Los Angeles to help launch his artistic career, the two brothers work incredibly well together and are an unstoppable pair.
A self-described rule-breaker of the art world, Mikael B creates art in a number of different styles and mediums. Over the past five years, the artist has specifically honed his craft to divide his different influences and create a body of work in a range of distinctive styles, practicing everything from the fluidity of abstract expressionism to the planned precision of geometric abstraction.
MIKAEL B AT WORK
With a focus on phenomenology and viewer experience, Mikael’s latest exhibition is set to immerse the viewer. Describing his practice, Mikael states “I create universes. I explore realms. With Flow State I’m not only challenging myself but also the viewer. It’s an experiment with the tangible and intangible world. The mantra of the show revolves around a transformation in one’s sense of time and it will be a step deep into my world and my mind”.