Ulrik Christian Ahlefeldt-Laurvig
For 20+ years, I have navigated a creative world of colors and perception, working with ads, design, film/video, and content creation as an art director in the advertising industry, known for my humor and colorful mindset. I worked for Mediacom, McCann Copenhagen, Advance, Bates/Red Cell, Tribal DDB, and TBWA\COPENHAGEN.
Initially, I grew up with strict family rules and private schools. I joined The Royal Life Guard (a Danish infantry regiment founded in 1658 by King Frederik III) at 18 as it was a must-do in my family as one of our ancestors helped found the regiment. However, at the beginning of my 20s, I started my creative journey as an advertising guy in the daytime and DJ at night with a red mohawk…
But one day, at 44, I was hit by stress and decided to fight it with creativity. So, in 2018 I started painting – first oil on canvas, a bit dark but reflecting my feelings. I then started experimenting with different shapes, materials, colors, and light. Today 5 years later, I found a balance to use my skills as an art director to build the base for my pop art before printing lithography and painting in my ‘signature’ style.
I constantly challenge myself, take risks, and test new things to grow and expand my artistic journey, which defines my works as playful, full of colors and humor, timeless, and without boundaries. All is unique 1:1, and nothing is static.
For me, art is not just an object to admire from afar. It is a multi-faceted experience that engages all our senses and emotions. Art is more than a pretty picture hanging on a wall or a sculpture displayed in a museum. It is an expression reflecting our experiences, ideas, and beliefs. Art is a medium that enables us to engage with the world around us, and it has the power to move us. It is the artist’s vision and intent which is brought to life through the use of various mediums such as paint, clay, fabric, and sound. Art has the power to evoke emotions and feelings that words alone cannot express. Art can make us feel happy, sad, angry, inspired, and nostalgic, among other things. While some may argue that art has an expiration date, I believe art is timeless. Art is a reflection of our experience. The themes and emotions artists explore through their work are universal and can be understood by people of all generations and cultures. Good or bad. Art that was created centuries ago can still move and inspire us today. Look at Miro, Asger Jorn, Picasso, and Basquiat, whose work I can look at repeatedly.
My favorite artists are Damien Hirst, Jeff Koons, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and Yayoi Kusama. They work on different media; they make complex work look simple and beautiful. They deliver a visual and joyful experience I love, with a boldness I respect and drive for.
I experiment and embrace the power of boldness to grow my artistic skills. I have found my ‘signature’ style in pop art but constantly test different media, formats, and materials mostly because I enjoy the creative process and feedback from viewers. The ability to be bold and let go of perfectionism. As an artist, you tend to experience a certain vulnerability when sharing your art with others. I did that in the first years but now embrace the artistic journey instead of today’s outcome.
I have a very productive studio in Copenhagen, packed with prints, half-finished sculptures and paintings, materials in all forms, and lots of paint in crazy cool colors from my sponsor Schjerning. That’s my freedom – to create and play. ¨