Studio visit: sculptor and photographer Jorgen Klausen
I love women, rocks and trees. I don’t know if I could choose which I love most. - JK
Jorgen Klausen is an artist among artists. Throughout his life he was worked with artists in his framing store and as an artist in not one but two distinct artistic disciplines, as a sculptor and photographer. Jorgen’s sculptures exude an instinctive elegance that make cold stone look alive, and he takes photos of everything, places, people, things and yes, even nudes. Before you blush and look away know that he does so with no whiff of vulgarity but with the most artful and critical eye. He shows the beauty of a woman’s body with the innocence of nature and creates photos that look like sculptures. Maybe that is how his two artistic languages interact...
Having owned an art gallery and framing store for over 30 years, Jorgen has an impeccable taste in art and fine craft, not to mention a staggering personal collection of artwork. Klausen’s Framing and Gallery was much more than its name suggests, but a nurturing hub for artists and art lovers alike. Jorgen is the type of person who can’t help but mentor, guide, cajole people into loving art and thus themselves and the world around them, no matter their background.
(Work by Jeneca Klausen, Herzl Kashetsky, Cliff Turner, Ed Coleman)
I visited Jorgen and his wife Beth in their 8th floor apartment on a freezing March day, when the snow was still crusted into potholes and the wind still had January’s bite. Instead of a formal interview this visit was more of a “tell me stories and show me your cool art” kind of visit. His home is just chock full of artwork by well-known (and lesser known) artists from the area, from Peter Thomas and Peter Powning to Fred Ross and Cliff Turner. Talk about name-dropping! His collection rivals some galleries I’m sure. Most of it he didn’t even pay for, but bartered instead. “It’s all for Jennie.” he says, meaning his daughter Jeneca who is an artist herself who makes fine jewelry. We sat and looked through photobooks he created of his work from the last few years, from personal travels to professional photo series. Each photo, each scene, each model had a story. Then he walked me through each room, pointing to one piece after another and telling me who made it, how he got it… the stories just kept going.
My favourite moment was when he held up a sculpture of his, made of beautiful rose alabaster. He touched it as though it was a part of him, as he talked of how it glows like fire when the sun shines on it. The first thing I thought when I left was, “When can I come back?” I felt like I’d just experienced the tip of the iceberg of who this man was a person and an artist, a legend in his own right. He doesn’t have a website or sell his work anywhere at the moment, but you can find examples of his photography on Tumblr. His sculptures are a bit harder to find, you have to visit him in person to see them and when you do you'll be amazed. I look forward to seeing what he comes up with next. I guess I’ll just have to go visit to find out! Maybe we’ll all luck out and he’ll have a show somewhere…
There is nothing like trying to photograph a photographer. Thanks Jorgen for a lovely visit. When can I come back?