Prize Winners 2021

On Thursday 6 May the exhibition Portrait NOW! 2021 opened at The Museum of National History at Frederiksborg.

In Portrait NOW! 2021 a First, Second and Third prize were awarded, along with five special prizes and two Young Talent Prizes, which is awarded to artists under the age of 25 and an Audience Award. Below you can see a presentation of the prize winners and their portraits.

First Prize

Jon Bøe Paulsen (* 1958)
The Last Letter

Right now Jon Bøe Paulsen only produces very few artworks, but work far more thoroughly on each of them than ever before. Jon was unintentionally well equipped for isolation, since he have a studio in his home and have been entering various figurative art network competitions all over the world for several years. ARC Living Master, New Jersey, USA. Solo and group exhibitions in Norway, USA, England, Spain and France.

“The painting  The Last Letter. She is receiving the final letter from a relative who is about to fall victim to the corona epidemic. I used my girlfriend, Heidi Kelday as a model. In fact, the inspiration came from a real letter from her niece, who lives in Hawaii and who was planning to move. But so far the risk of COVID-19 infection has made it difficult.”



Second Prize

Dag Aronson (* 1944)
Andrea, girl between chairs

Dag Aronson was born and raised in Vesterålen in Northern Norway, but now live in Denmark.
The nature of Nordland will always be present in his pictures in some sort of way. Dag probe and examine early images from his memory. He is a self-taught artist, but
a member of Danish Visual Artists (BKF) and the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts/Society of Artists. As a self-taught artist, he learned by copying and paraphrasing
themes from famous classic works, looking over the shoulders of the great masters, scrutinising their insights in an attempt to connect present and past.

“My portrait Andrea, girl between chairs is all about the periods between childhood and youth, and between youth and adulthood. I am examining this transitional phase. The girl is placed between two chairs. What does that mean? Is she about to ‘ fall between two chairs’ or is she leaning against them for support?”

Third Prize

Stinne Fuglsbjerg (* 1977)

Stinne Fuglsbjerg was born and raised in Jutland and trained as a multimedia designer. Today she lives in Copenhagen, where she works as a graphic designer. Sinne mostly draw, but she is also a painter and photographer. Currently she is working on a number of drawings that will be exhibited in November. She is also drawing the cover for the fifth volume in a series of books about Vikings.

“In my portrait we meet Peter Ingemann. He has accomplished a great deal in the world of Danish music. He can best be described as a strong character with a sense of
humour and a twinkle in the eye, and that is exactly what I attempted to render in the portrait. I depicted him on an evening while he was rehearsing with some of his friends. He has his monocle with him at all times. It is his special hallmark. I love immersing myself in a drawing. Details, expression and mood are very important to me.”



Young Talent Prize

Ln Rye (* 1999)

Born and raised in Copenhagen, Ln Rye is a self-taught painter. Ln Rye has created portraits in a variety of media, but oil on canvas is her favourite medium. The work is a portrait of two people in a room, shielded by their rubbish and valuables. The portrait was painted during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The work “Terms”, which is being exhibited at PORTRAIT NOW!, is part of a longer series with the working title “Terms & Conditions”, which is based on letting go of, and accepting difficult events (a reference to the Latin term: “Amor fati”). The work is part of the final chapter in the book about Rakavan Jeevaharan, which will be published and launched on 1 May 2019.”




Young Talent Prize

Astrid Storgaard (* 1996)
The corona (toilet paper) crisis

Born and raised in Odense. A Fine Art student at the Glasgow School of Art. Astrid Storgaard works in various media and materials: for example, textile, video and painting. She is very conscious of the materials she uses in her projects, since she wants them to play a role in the expression of the work. Most of Astrid’s works are about sustainability.

“I made this work just when Corona hit the world. It was a reaction to people’s panic buying. I was in isolation when I was painting it, so used myself as a model. But the work is not about me. It is more about the ‘every man for himself ’ instinct that many people exhibited. To emphasise the theme, it is painted on toilet rolls and I am wearing toilet paper. In several places, the toilet paper is falling apart – a symbol of how the ‘every man for himself ’ mentality is unsustainable.”




Special Prize

Niklas Asker (* 1979)

Niklas Asker was born in Nordingra, Sweden. He has studied art at Konstskolan Kuben and Örebro Konstskola and comics at Malmö Comics Art School. After
working in the international comics industry for several years he started painting, teaching himself how to work with oil.

“The work Piercer connects present and past. It depicts the young woman Frida piercing her ear with one of her grandmothers sewing needles. The painting is mounted on her grandmothers old sewing kit to remind us of the works connection to real life. The wooden box also works as a substitute for a traditional frame. It is an image of connection over time but also the weight of tradition and the socialchallenges of women now and then.”




Special Prize

Jørgen Geisted (* 1949)
Among Friends

A self-taught artist, Jørgen Geisted made his debut at the 1976 Charlottenborg Spring Exhibition and the 1977 Artists’ Autumn Exhibition. He was part of the
Danish Neo-realism movement of the 1980s and a co-founder of the association, Dansk Figuration. He is represented at Fuglsang Museum, Skive Museum and the Royal Collection of Graphic Art (National Gallery of Denmark).

“I draw on myself and my life. I paint myself, portray my life and get as close as I can. You see, by doing so, I am describing not only myself, but also everyone, because I am no different from everyone else. We are all trapped in the same, enigmatic, existential maze.”



Special Prize

Liisa Hietanen (* 1981)

Liisa Hietanen was born in Lohja, Finland. She graduated as Bachelor of Design from Lahti University of Applied Sciences in 2007 and as Bachelor of Fine Arts from Tampere
University of Applied Sciences in 2012. She lives and works in Hämeenkyrö, Finland. Hietanen is currently working on a series called Villagers. In the series she depicts people from her home town in crocheted and knitted sculptures.

Aulis is a portrait of an elderly man that is a part of the series Villagers. I meet my models in natural everyday situations. The process of choosing a model is intuitive. I met Aulis occasionally on the marketplace on Saturdays. It is not common to have someone lift their hat when you meet them on the street and that is a gesture that definitely invited me to get to know him.”



Special Prize

Ivana Julma (* 1993)
Self-portrait with Love and Death

Ivana Julma was born in Raahe, Finland. Graduated in 2017 from Kankaanpää University of Applied Sciences, Finland (Bachelor of Fine Arts), and is currently finishing her studies for a Master of Arts degree at the University of Lapland, majoring in Art Education.

“In Finland, being an artist is just about the worst thing you can be. From a rational perspective, it makes no sense for me to paint. I should stop making art and study something that does not interest me at all, so I can have a job that actually pays me a living wage. I don’t want to be a starving, depressed artist, always living under the poverty line. You can’t build a life on this, on art. And yet: Tyydyttämättömän rakkauden ääretön piina / The infinite torment of unrequited love // Tyydytetyn rakkauden suurempi piina / The even greater torment of requited love.”




Special Prize

Kristina D. Aas (* 1978)

Kristina Daukintyte· Aas was born in Klaipe· da, Lithuania, lives in Bergen, and works with the digital jacquard weave, embroidery, installations, video and collage. In her works, she appeals to our tactile sense through deliberate and steady craftsmanship. She graduated from Bergen Academy of Art and Design in 2011. Since 2013, she has been working mostly with digital jacquard weave: a technique thatunites the old way of thinking on the woven surface with the new digital technology.

“My work is a portrait of my daughter, Viktoria. The starting point is her own selfie that she made to a collage on an app. I took it and transformed it into woven artwork using my skills and knowledge in jacquard weaving. Some threads are woven tight, and some are left loose, as I am very much in experimenting with the limits of digital weaving.”