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From COVER 50: Brilliant Irreverent Deviant


Artist Bjarne Melgaard’s subversive vulgarity of rebellious energy have been applied to rugs by Henzel Studio. COVER Assistant Editor Rachel Meek takes a look.

Bjarne Melgaard is one of the latest artists to join the Henzel Studio Collaborations hall of fame. The Norwegian artist’s colourful work is in line with the often provocative, always striking statement art rugs that we have come to expect from the Swedish rug maker.

The series of three untitled rugs, based on Melgaard’s pencil drawings, were unveiled along with another new Henzel Studio collaboration with his Swiss contemporary, Olaf Beruning, at a series of exhibitions in Hong Kong. Held over six weeks at three JOYCE Group stores (‘Asia’s vanguard of fashion retail‘), the shows overlapped with Art Basel Hong Kong (29-31 March 2018).

Melgaard’s colourful multimedia practice explores the ‘subcultures and parallel worlds that exist alongside the world of normality’. The irreverent imagery thrown up by this investigation into the darker side of human nature and the peripheries of social acceptance might be considered by many to be somewhat challenging, with blatant sexual references, prickly language and abundant genitalia being the order of the day. The rugs feature a series of vulnerable characters with slogans such as ‘life just sucks’, ‘kan du hore meg’ (can you hear me) and the contradictory, ‘its to much now to handle but its OK too’ [sic]. They employ differing pile heights that increase the sense of a hastily-scrawled, deep-seated sentiment and cement Henzel Studio curator Joakim Andreasson’s talent for spotting boundary-breaking rug-art stars.

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