David Noro, 'Perhaps you don’t think we know a few things about you’, 2020, Althuis Hofland Fine Arts.
Last summer, between the first and second lockdown, David Noro's first solo exhibition at Althuis Hofland was a hit. His figurative paintings are mainly about our perception of emotions. During the Ballroom Project, a number of Noro’s works can be seen which seamlessly connect with our current situation.
After obtaining his bachelor's degree at the Rietveld Academy, the Dane with Italian roots studied at Sint Lucas in Antwerp. The choice to show David Noro's work at Ballroom Project was obvious, says gallery owner Ornis Althuis: “Partly due to the pandemic, David's work has only been shown in Belgium once before. We thought it would be a great opportunity to offer him a stage in Antwerp.”
David Noro, Elevator, 2021, Althuis Hofland Fine Arts.
Three larger works by Noro will be on display at Ballroom Project. “The works that can be seen on Ballroom Project have titles that touch on technology: Escalator and Long Distance Call. Both innovations should bring people closer together, but only partially succeed in doing so”, Noro explains over the phone from Copenhagen. “In the case of the escalator you are temporarily very close to someone, but you also immediately roll away from that person. The escalator is also a great way to observe people. In a long-distance conversation you also have the illusion of being very close to the other. Your thoughts and voice are, but you remain physically separated from each other.”
Exemplary for Noro's associative mindset is the story he tells about the third work on display. The work is called Perhaps you don't think we know a few things about you and is about Denmark. Noro made it during his academy days in Antwerp. After that the work was shown in Italy and now in Antwerp again, while he himself has returned to Denmark again. “It's nice that a work I made in Antwerp can now be seen there via a detour”.
Could you say that ambivalence and confusion are the underlying themes of your work?
I am looking for patterns in everyday life. Patterns that include or exclude. In my work I ask questions about subjects where such clarity is lacking, usually it has to do with our perception of emotions. I try to process my own confusion about this in my work.
David Noro, Long distance call, 2021, Althuis Hofland Fine Arts.
What are you working on right now?
In recent months I have been working towards two gallery exhibitions that open next month; in Brussels at Galerie Dys and in Copenhagen at Kant Galeri. The latter gallery has spaces that are much larger than I am used to today. This allowed me to make bigger works.
Apart from larger work, does so much space result in different work as well?
Yes, I think so. I am now in a transition to a different theme. I became fascinated by the forest as a place of action. That is why I paint more with green and there are one or two larger trees on each canvas. There is a similar ambivalence in the forest as in technology. On the one hand, the forest is a romantic place during the day, on the other it is a place at night where hooligans fight each other. There is a kind of poetry in there that appeals to me.
Why did you actually choose to study in the Netherlands and Belgium?
In Denmark there are relatively few places available at art academies. I was rejected a few times, but wanted to develop myself as a painter. A teacher of mine pointed out the opportunities in the Netherlands to me. Dutch art academies admit a relatively high number of foreign students. The Rietveld Academy, for example, is very international, but the emphasis is not on figurative painting. Belgium has a long tradition in the field of figurative painting - they take it seriously. I also wanted to study in Antwerp because the art scene there is very lively.