Published September 7, 2017
Great ideas can come from a subdued state of mind. For Jóhannes Atli Hinriksson, a lack of structure in his work produces vibrant and visually appealing shows. His latest exhibition, ‘OK, api Allt í lagi,’ can be viewed at Kling & Bang now until 24 September.
Made up of inexpensive and textured material, ‘OK, api Allt í lagi’ is unique and captivating. Coming from a place of no planning, Jóhannes says he just works. “I just go to the studio and start working on something, not really knowing exactly what I’m going to do.” Letting his creative streak flow starts with a simplistic idea and the rest develops on its own. Jóhannes claims to not be a deep thinker, working without any sketches or planned concepts; he just lets things flow and this makes sense for him. “When you draw or sketch something out and you’re finished, there’s no more fun left,” says Jóhannes. The only process he has to have is simply showing up to the studio, drinking a lot of coffee and listening to good music. “I just start painting, putting color here and there; I’m just messing around.”
‘OK, api Allt í lagi’ has a central theme that may not be so apparent. Jóhannes says, “It has to do with having a monkey on your back, patrolling your thoughts.” So, while the name is fitting for this show, he expresses that he always has trouble with names, and that this is the hardest part. “It just made sense in the end; it’s just about this controlling monkey we have on our backs, Reminding us to behave or give up in the end.”
Jóhannes currently resides in Akureyri, but has plans to move to Reykjavík in the near future and indulge in art full time. In terms of upcoming installations and collaborations, he has no concrete projects but hopes to collaborate with more artists when he returns to Reykjavík.