Michael Kvium

b. Horsens 1955

The Grotesque Reality

The work of the Danish painter Michael Kvium is an essential part of Denmark’s cultural heritage. He is best known for his raw visual universe with caricatured people who are both literally and figuratively naked. The shadowy sides of life are in focus, and Kvium exposes weaknesses through his distorted and deformed creatures who find themselves in the midst of grotesque situations and macabre actions.

Michael Kvium studied at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in 1979-85. He had his breakthrough on the art scene in the 1980s with his films and performances, including being part of the expressive art movement called De Unge Vilde (The Young Wild Ones). Kvium has created set designs for theatre, exhibited his work around the world and received great honorary awards.

"What art can do is create a scene where we dare to step closer to problems that we do not dare face in the real world," he says about his art. It is often difficult to be confronted with such stark realism, and that is why Michael Kvium has always been a divisive artist with both dedicated collectors and head-shaking doubters.