HILDE MARSTRANDER IS A NORWEGIAN ARTIST, ILLUSTRATOR, AND EX-FASHION JOURNALIST.
HILDE HAS BEEN NOTED AS ONE OF NORWAY’S FOREMOST FASHION JOURNALISTS, WITH AN ACADEMIC AND PROFESSIONAL BACKGROUND AS A FASHION DESIGNER IN LONDON AND PARIS. HER JOURNALISM CAREER INCLUDES POSITIONS AS A HOST FOR A FASHION TV-SHOW ON ZTV AND FASHION EDITOR FOR ELLE. SHE HAS ALSO WORKED AS A REPORTER FOR VG, AFTENPOSTEN, NRK, DET NYE, AND SE OG HØR, AMONG OTHERS.
HER COMMENTS ON THE DRESS OF FEMALE POLITICIANS AND ROYALTY STARTED PUBLIC DISCUSSION THAT OTHER JOURNALISTS BRANDED “THE DRESS DEBATE” AT THE BEGINNING OF THE NEW MILLENNIUM. IN 2004, WITH PIA HARALDSEN, SHE BECAME A JUDGE ON TV3’S SHOPPING PROGRAMME SHOPAHOLIC. SHE HAD THE POSITION AS THE EDITOR-IN-CHIEF OF THE NORWEGIAN DESIGN MAGAZINE SNITT DURING THE YEARS 2006-2011.
ON 12 AUGUST 1998 SHE ESTABLISHED STUDIO DELUXE HILDE MARSTRANDER AS AN OSLO BASED COMPANY TO HANDLE HER CREATIVE ACTIVITIES.
SINCE HILDE WAS GOING ART SCENE. LET’S CHECK OUT, HOW’S HER WAY TODAY?
THE NIPPLE HONESTY EXPOSED!
DT500 ZINE: – Hi, thanx for last time, fun to shoot! It is a pleasure to get to know a person like you. You seem like a great and balanced one, let’s go closer, right to the irrationality. We are looking for your Identity?
HILDE: – I think I am a designated traveler. I travel both outwards and inwards; geographically and introspectively.
” I have a strong perceptiveness, which is both my burden and my blessing.“
DT500 ZINE: – what is most important for an artist?
HILDE: – Both irrationality and unconsciousness can be useful tools for many artists, although I do not believe in the myth of the «tormented artist». You don’t have to seek destructiveness to be a good artist. Many succeed doing the opposite – by keeping a clear head and working hard.
” Intuitiveness is perhaps my personal favorite. You just get an idea, feel it in your marrow, brew on it for a while, write down some words, let it simmer – and if you still think it’s a good idea after some time, go for it.”
Hilde grew up as the youngest of six kids on Frogner, West-side Oslo. Her father was a Ph.D. in literature, a historian, and a language teacher, her mother was working with troubled kids and teenagers, who started her education as a social worker at the age of 51, and before retirement, she had been the Head of Social Services for the City of Oslo. Hilde noticed along that they had a cabin high up in the mountains, where the whole family spent every single holiday when growing up. Probably these kinds of experience gave her close connection to animals and nature, which is ever-present to this day.
DT500 ZINE: – any personal buzz story?
HILDE: – My parents were both engaged in the arts. My father used to take me to almost every opera, ballet an annual art show at Kunstnernes Hus («House of the Arts»). I still go there every year if I’m in town. My mother wrote short stories and published a collection of poems at Solum. I don’t know whether this identifies me, but my mother had a story about me which I find telling:
” She once put me in the child seat at the back of her bicycle. I was a toddler, maybe 2 or 3 years. She fell on her bike, and told me I instantly crawled to the sidewalk into safety at the «speed of light». Since then, I have often been in potentially hazardous or challenging situations, but always seem to crawl back.”
Hilde said that she always been a so-called «life artist», although she did not formalize the last steps through advanced art studies until recently. He first studies apparently were within textiles and fashion design and she had an active career in fashion and journalism for many years, which gradually drifted into an Editor-in-Chief position at a visual communications magazine (graphic and digital design, and illustration) by the end.
DT500ZINE: – Yes, we do remember your stories in media, a lot of what you did was a pretty authentic contribution, however, we, in DT 500, are more interested in your story of becoming an artist? Is it a wrong or a right turn for you?
HILDE: – Yes, I then started studying art. I guess I have been lucky along the way, as I have had several people contributing to my life choices. My mother, first and foremost. But also some brilliant teachers and mentors I met along the road. I made friends with designer and founder of fashion school ESMOD, Nils-Christian Ihlen Hansen when I was flat broke and living in Paris. He took me under his wings, fed me Thai food and gave me free private lessons in illustration and design.
DT500 ZINE: – What would you forward the most in your work?
HILDE: – I like the fact that there is an understated poetry to most of my works. It is often quite eye-catching, but if you look closer, and take the time to read the manifests, there are more layers to it.
” Every time someone comes up to me and tells me that my art touched them in a profound way, rather than just the aesthetics, I feel blessed and humble.”
DT500ZINE: – Male vs. female artist?
HILDE: – This is of course NOT the case with all male artists, I am just pointing out a general tendency. The substantial art institutions and media is also over-represented by male voices and curators. Perhaps the softer-spoken art does not always reach its audience because they have less resonance with the mediators. Lastly, I have noticed that art editors, journalists, juries, etc. often consists of professionals with a theoretical background; art historians, philosophers, word-smiths. But they do not necessarily have a practical art background.
” I think it would be healthy for the art industry to invite more people with a hands-on background from the field to the roundtable, where decisions and selections are made.“
DT500 ZINE: – trends vs. changes?
HILDE: – When everybody else, e.g., is making intricate pencil drawings, I tend to do something else. Call me stupid if you like, but I think it’s the anti-establishment attitude in me who forces me to go in a different direction. I refuse to follow trends, as I believe art should be about changes, not about reinforcing existing ideas and means of expression. That said, I still enjoy good pencil drawings.
” Having (in a «previous» life) worked many years in fashion, and hence with trend forecasting, I am sensitive to shifting trends. As a result, I consciously try to avoid them.”
DT500 ZINE: – Do you mean, that the artist role should model something for society?
HILDE: – Yes, I think we do. But I know this is not true for everyone. The problem with the society as a whole today is that most people don’t have the extra resources to engage in global affairs, the environment, animal care, gender equality, race, ethnicity, freedom of religion, etc.
” The best way to save the human race, and the earth, would undoubtedly be to go back to the rural ways of our ancestors, move out in the countryside, live off the land, be self-sufficient, make our own houses, clothes, tools. Minimize, not maximize.”
DT500ZINE: – What inspires you in Oslo?
HILDE: – Oslo is my hometown, and I am inspired by both my past, present and views of things to come. Oslo has a vibrant cultural scene, including art, architecture, music, dance, literature, poetry, theatre, stage, street markets, food, and people. I love the fact that Oslo has transformed from a narrow-minded little puddle into an open and international hot-pot, where there is room for most; different opinions, styles, taste, and preferences.
DT500ZINE: – ha-ha, any inspirational tip?
HILDE: – My biggest inspiration in this city is both my close friends and the impressive new people I continuously keep bumping into. Like the team from DOWNTOWN500. These meetings restore my faith in humankind, and makes a living in Oslo like indulging in a big box of chocolates; you never know what’s in the next wrapper, but you know it will be sweet!
DT500ZINE: – Thanx Hilde, Ditto!
INTERVIEW BY Arthur Sopin
IMAGES DT500 OSLO