Below the Surface – Q&A with Mikael B

Brady Walker: Can you please introduce yourself to our readers?

Mikael B: My name is Mikael Brandrup, also known as Mikael B, and I’m a visual artist. I am 39 years old, originally from Denmark, but I moved to L.A. 9 years ago to pursue my dream and passion as an abstract artist.

BW: Tell me about the piece you’re bringing to Miami with MakersPlace & Transient Labs.

MB: The painting is a part of the series Below The Surface, and it has kind of an ambiguous meaning to me. ​​One is conceiving undersea volcano eruptions. The shapes, colors, and textures of lava formed by undersea volcanoes. The water causes magma to cool and solidify much more quickly than in a terrestrial eruption, often turning it into volcanic glass. ​​The dark and the light, the warm and the cold, the soft and the sharp — a harmonic but dynamic representation of contrasts.

​​On the other hand, nothing is as it seems. Dare to ask questions even if you think you’ve figured it all out. Always stay open-minded and willing to learn and get better every day. That’s when you will start exploring your true potential. That’s when you will get below the surface and find out who you really are and what you are really capable of. 

BW: Can you share any specific rituals or practices that help you maintain your creative momentum?

MB: As I have developed my art style over the years, I have invented two distinct and contrasting art styles. With one of the art styles, I will go to the blank canvas with a loose approach and create unexpected results. The other art style is geometric, very meticulous well-planned. It’s the balance between these two opposite art styles that ultimately makes me feel free. And that feeling is my infinite source of inspiration and energy.

It’s very important for me to live a life where I feel free and I can do what I want. I think that is also why I moved to L.A. to be in a place where everything is possible, and I get the feeling that I can fly. Besides that, I have a lot of daily routines and rituals that help me to always perform at my best. That also includes going to the gym five times a week, eating healthy, reading/learning, hiking in nature, yoga, and mindfulness meditation.

BW: How much planning or preliminary thought goes into each painting?

MB: I put a lot of thought into my abstract paintings. It’s a moment where I get to listen to my deepest self and it’s a very emotional journey with a lot of ups and downs. It can be difficult to find exactly what I’m searching for because often I don’t know until I see it. Sometimes I do drawings beforehand, other times I freestyle.

BW: How would you describe how your work is currently evolving? 

MB: I always love to experiment and push myself and get out of my comfort zone and I feel it always happens like that when I’m in the studio. Or when I’m working with my team to create and transform my paintings into digital works and animations.

I think one of the major changes in my art practice is how my style has evolved from one into two distinct art styles. Lately, I’m experimenting with new techniques, turning my recipes upside down, and just doing whatever I feel in a bigger sense, both physical paintings and digital animations.

BW: What do you hope people feel when they look at your art?

MB: The reason that abstract art is my great passion is that I’m obsessed with creating something that doesn’t exist. To create a universe where everything is possible, where you can let go of worries and negative thoughts and just be and bring all your attention to the present moment. Like mindfulness.

Since my paintings are abstract, it’s up to the spectator what to think and what to feel, and I really like that because I hear a different story from my paintings every time because people relate to them in different and personal ways.

BW: What role does physical art play in the broader web3 art ecosystem?

MB: I see that physical art forms the foundation upon which the digital art movement in web3 has been built. The principles, techniques, and aesthetics of traditional art are often mirrored or transformed in digital art. This continuity provides a vital link between the past and the present, ensuring that digital art in the web3 space is grounded in a rich artistic tradition.

The tokenization of physical art is also exciting to me; it’s a groundbreaking development that involves creating a digital counterpart or certificate of authenticity for a physical artwork on the blockchain. This not only ensures the provenance and ownership of the art but also allows for new forms of engagement.

BW: Who or what else excites you in the art world (web3 or trad) right now?

MB: AR, VR, and immersive experiences where physical and digital art merge together. I love going to immersive art shows, but also light and audio installations like Dark Matter in Berlin. It’s like a symphony of digital and physical possibilities that stimulate your senses in all possible ways and enrich the viewer’s experience.

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Published by Brady Evan Walker

⚪️⚫️ MakersPlace Content & Curation Manager | Host of the Pixels & Paint Podcast | @bradyevanwalker on Twitter

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