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Text and photos by:
Pia Charlotte Fredriksen
The street-artist ENER Konings from Bergen started with markers when he was in elementary school, this week he put up his art on a concrete wall in Kristiansand.
- I want people to see something different on their way to work or school, something they didn’t expect when they left home that morning. I want to give something back to the city, he says.
The Kristiansand-based artist tells us that he have always liked to draw, and that he towards the end of elementary school discovered graffiti.
- My friends and I had some markers and took our skateboards around Bergen he says smiling and adds that he later took pictures of art and things he found and practiced - a lot. It wasn’t until junior high that the city of Bergen put up a legal wall where artist could express themselves freely.
- I would go there and see artist from other cities and discovered that graffiti and street art didn’t have to be vandalism, but also something great.
If others wants to become street artists, he advice them to first of all respect private property, learn from others in the art scene and to grab opportunities to show their art, like this weeks festival.
Today, how do you create your art?
- I make a kind of pattern, put together by several photos. Some photos of people I know or acquaintances. For instance, the hands on the woman on this piece, is my girlfriend’s hands. The pattern can be printed out as many times I want or how large I want it.
What inspires you?
- It is 24-hours a day, and something that I can’t «switch off». I get ideas when I’m out eating dinner, when I’m watching a movie or just having a beer with friends. The pattern in the background is actually from my friend’s grandmothers home. I saw the wallpaper and fell in love with it, he says whilst showing us the white, turquoise and dark blue pattern.
What does it mean for you that the Kristiansand is arranging the street art-festival, for the third time?
- It’s great that the city give us artist legal walls where we can share our art with everyone, that’s what street art is all about, he says and adds that it means very much to him.
ENER Konings have already put up his art in several places in Europe, like Sweden, Copenhagen in Denmark, Ireland and Bergen, Oslo and Kristiansand in Norway. He thinks that street art is much more accepted today, but some are still skeptical when he holds a spray can.
- People are usually very nice and come up to talk to me when I’m out putting up my work, he says and adds that a man have asked him to decorate an entire wall of his house. - He wants to shock his neighbors, he laughs.
If you could put up your art anywhere in the world, where would it be?
- It would have been so much fun to make something for an entire wall in Tokyo, for instance, or in New York City, he says.
Who would you like to spend two minutes with, if you could choose anyone?
- Oh, that’s a though one, there are so many people I would choose, but I have to say Banksy! Either him, Invader, Vhils, or the norwegian street artists Dolk or Pøbel, they are some of many role models that I truly admire. If I’d have had a couple of minutes with Banksy, I would probably ask him what it’s like to be an anonymous artist and hearing other people talking about his art in public. That way, you get to hear honest opinions, and it doesn't get more honest than that!
From: Bergen, lives in Kristiansand
Occupation: Street artist and graphic designer