Erling T.V. Klingenberg is a visual artist, motorcyclist and a founding member of the Kling & Bang gallery and art collective. Visit Kling & Bang in The Marshall House at Grandagarður 20.
The best thing for starting the day is when my great wife Sirra Sigrún brings me coffee in bed. I’m not really a breakfast kind of a guy, but I sometimes go to Grái Kötturinn café, or pick up some goodies from one of Reykjavík’s many fine bakeries, then sit somewhere on a bench and think creatively.
If I’m not working in my studio or at Kling & Bang, a perfect day for me is to go out on my motorcycle. There are many great options for a day trip close to Reykjavík—one route I love to drive is to Krýsuvík, and have a relaxing time by Lake Kleifarvatn, then keep on going to the town Grindavík and have a coffee at the Bryggjan Café, to the lighthouse Reykjanesviti, and to Keflavík by the seashore. If there is not a day or good weather for a motorcycle trip or I’m working in Reykjavík, I like to go for a lunch at Veislusetrið in the basement of Rúgbrauðsgerðin. You can have a lunch there with the “working class heroes” of Iceland, with fair prices and a good selection of great food like your mom would make for you.
If I have time on my hands, I like to walk around downtown with no plans. But I often find myself going for the best coffee in the city at Bismút on Hverfisgata. It’s also fantastic to visit Fischer at Fischersund, because it’s a shop that’s like an art installation, where all the senses are stimulated—and you can buy some to take home. Close to Fischer is Gryfjan, a vape shop I visit because they have a great service and a good up-to-date selection of vape stuff. Since I’m an artist I love to visit museums and galleries. One I really like is Ekkisens, a gallery run by a young artist in her grandma’s basement. Next door is Hotel Holt. It’s great to visit at happy hour and relax in the historic bar, where artists and writers used to hang out and drink. They have some great art on the walls by old Icelandic masters.
The best dinners are the ones that are at a friend’s home, but I really like having dinner at Ban Thai restaurant, and at Sky Bar, with its great view of Reykjavík Bay and the surrounding mountains… plus they have a great balcony for smokers and vapers. One thing I plan to do is have dinner at the home of the painter Daði Guðbjörnsson—he offers dinner for a small group of people in his home.
The heat of the night
I don’t really go to bars so much anymore, but I like places like Gaukurinn for live music or Íslenski Rokkbarinn in Hafnarfjörður—a great place for heavy rock, metal and punk shows. There are always great movies at Bió Paradís, and great concerts or performances at Mengi. But the best night for me is camping somewhere in the countryside of Iceland and enjoying the great view from my tent, or when I’m getting hot in my studio feeling the heat coming off my art making.
Read more perfect days here.