Jan Christensen – Sluit je ogen, verbeeld je kunst
The Papegaaistraat is a somewhat grey yet busy street leading to the centre of Ghent. It's a crowded way and the location for the active residents committees vzw De Papegay and vzw Graffiti Jeugddienst, an association trying to bring young people in touch with alternative ways of communication, like graffiti, new media, photography etc. The commissioner, vzw Graffiti Jeugddienst, wanted an accessible work of art. It had to be meaningful, with an inherent critique on society, but also to be enjoyed by the passer-by. Jan Christensen made a daring work of art. On one side of the wall he put 'Sluit je ogen (Close your eyes)' in white letters on a black background. On the facing wall he wrote 'Verbeeld je kunst (Imagine art)'. The walls thus communicate, reflect about the possibilities and boundaries of art in public space; the work dares the passer-by to imagine their ideal work of art. At the same time as the inauguration of this work, a wall painting of Christensen was shown at S.M.A.K. In this way, De Nieuwe Opdrachtgevers wants to introduce people to an artist who made art outside the museum.
Jan Christensen was born in 1977 in Copenhagen and lives and works in Berlin and Skien (Norway). His work consists mainly of wall paintings and site-specific art. He combines figurative and abstract elements, painterly coats of paint, texts, computer graphics and graffiti. His work is a mix of high and low culture, a visual explosion of forms, colours, decorative patrons and vibrating lines. He uses a more modest palette in his site-specific works, where he uses the existing architecture as a basis. Late 2006 he realized a site- specific wall painting at the bar of S.M.A.K.