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Favotell meet the future of the art world

July 16, 2018

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Magnus Gjoen x Favotell London

April 13, 2017

Tell me about the origins of your art background.


I studied fashion in England and Milan and worked in fashion for roughly 10/15 years. I moved into a new flat 2 years before I quit my job in fashion and became an artist. I wanted nice pieces to hang on the wall and after looking around, seeing what was out there, I told myself “hang on....I can do this”. The story of my art origins was me wanting to create art pieces for my own home. It generally got a good reception from friends which led me to contact a few galleries. The galleries pushed me in the right direction guiding me on which paper, sizes etc sells well. That was the real start of my career as an artist.


Before all of this, I was working as a denim designer, graphic designer and product developer. You can instantly see the correlation between the graphic design and my artwork which made it a very easy transition. I’m one of those people that will try and learn as much as I can and teach myself everything there is about it if I have a genuine interest and passion for something.

What made you have a complete career transition from fashion to art?


I didn't actually want to quit my job in fashion but there came a point, roughly about a year after I started the work with the galleries, that I made the decision to quit. I realised that I needed more time for focus on my art and I couldn’t do both which was quite sad. I was working away a lot, at least twice a month I was away working in the factories. I just had to weigh up the options and follow my passion for art.


Do you feel that your fashion background has had an impact on your art work?


Possibly. I don’t know too much about how other artists work and research their pieces but I tend to approach a project through a lot of research. I will start an artwork and then leave it till I find the right inspiration to finish it. I will have an idea that is not necessarily quite right and I will wait until I see something on one of my travels or in daily life that jogs my inspiration. When I get that inspiration of “this is what I should do with the piece”  I will release it.


What was it like working with Vivienne Westwood?


Absolutely amazing! I was part of a brilliant team which I thoroughly enjoyed. I’m still very good friends with a lot of them, my best friend is actually still working there. It’s a place where you get friends for life, there is a very big family environment. I’m aware that not everyone has the same opinion but a work place is what you make of it. I was fortunate enough to work as part of a small group in which we got on like a house on fire.


What was the process of you developing your art skills?


I did study some fine arts when I was in High School which I have gone back to slightly. I’ve painted with acrylics, oils, spray paints and now a lot of my work is more digital based. I’m using a lot of mixed media between digital and painting. Ultimately, I’m continually developing my art skills because I'm interested in new things. Every time I do a solo show, there is a huge project in front of you which means I have to do 15/20 pieces in which 50-75% need to be original pieces. It’s at this point that I’m always thinking to myself “How can I do this in a new way?”. A lot of the time I’ll end up going in a different direction from what I have done before but that’s not to say that I won’t return to what I did before which I always do. For example, from my “Monster Series” I read this article from the FBI about serial killers and what made them serial killers. It was about a lot of the classic traits that serial killers possess and a lot of them had experienced a trauma in their childhood which would be anything from a father dying to seeing their sister killed or even something less sinister. So