As the recipient, Ari was given an inscribed award made of aluminium made by aluminium company ISAL in Straumsvík and 2 million ISK.
“In the opinion of the judges’ panel, Ari belongs to a small group of artists who are both new and have a long history around the world which connects various artistic disciplines,” an announcement from the panel stated. “Ari tells stories, about himself, from his immediate environment and are incredibly funny. He has a special sense of humour about himself, the nation, and humankind. Ari is the narrator of the modern age and is a great representative of Icelandic culture.”
The Optimism Award was founded by Peter Brøste in 1981, and was first awarded to opera singer Garður Cortes. Brøste retired from the award in 1999, and ISAL took over from there. Since then, ISAL has been the main sponsor for the award, with the President presiding over it.
Ari’s Netflix special, ‘Pardon My Icelandic’, is currently trending, and you can read more about what has brought him to this point in our feature interview with him.
You can watch the Optimism Award ceremony here and below.
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