Since William Heimdall (20) was in ninth grade, a film crew has tracked the young painter from Malm in Trøndelag.
The result will come later this year.
The documentary film “Prince of the Renaissance” depicts the twenty-year-old man who became:
Heimdall describes the five-year process as “terrible” and refuses to watch the film himself or attend the premiere, He tells NRK.
-I hate being photographed. I hate that they record my voice. I really hate all kinds of attention, but I have to say yes in order to market myself, says Heimdall to Dagbladet.
– Is this why you also agreed to this terrible interview, asks Dagbladet?
– Yes, this is correct.
Longing for Norwegian art
In an interview with NRK, Heimdall said he “likes” to provoke. He calls today’s Norwegian artistic environment “painting” and believes that Edvard Munch was a “bad painter”.
In the next step, Heimdall says the goal is to surpass classical artists Caravaggio and Rembrandt when they are 30 and 50 years old, respectively.
So Kulturavisa Dagbladet chose to send a journalist who did not know Rembrandt’s full name, and whose relationship with Caravaggio stemmed almost exclusively from cinematic adaptations of Dan Brown’s novels, to interview Heimdall.
– I actually feel very anxious in social situations where I have to speak or express myself. “It can be very bad sometimes,” Heimdall tells Dagbladet.
– Being worried about speaking in public, you’re a bit harsh, aren’t you?
The 20-year-old laughs heartily.
– Yes, that’s a great point. But I made a promise to myself: If I receive a question, I will answer it frankly, and I will not cover it with fake diplomacy. If I think the Norwegian art scene is a mess, then I say the Norwegian art scene is a mess. It is a club.
Driven by disgust
To the Norwegian public, 20-year-old Heimdall is perhaps best known as a member of the so-called Memorosa Group, a group of young painters. The group was “erroneously” described as students of the Odd Nerdrum, according to Heimdall.
But what the Memorosa group and Nerdrum have in common is their collective distaste for Modernism’s dominant place in the Norwegian art and culture sphere. Or perhaps more accurately: the aversion that classical figurative art does not have a higher status.
– What makes the Norwegian art scene “Runking”?
– Scholarship committees include artists who distribute scholarships, prizes, and decoration works to their friends. If I, as a classical figurative painter, have a desire to receive a work grant, I have no chance, unless I am a close friend of one of the committee members, Heimdall answers.
– Isn’t it rude to accuse these committees of corruption in practice?
– Yes, I may not mean literally that committee member “Jens” hands the money to his friend, the artist “Jens.” What I mean is that commissions and artists often share the same ideology and philosophy.
– We clearly said no
Heimdall continues to attack the Norwegian art establishment for several reasons.
First, it’s “just honest.” Secondly, it seems to have worked.
When Odd Nerdrum was rejected by the Autumn Expo in 2021, Nerdrum, the Memorosa group, and others in the same environment strongly opposed the decision.
– then “We called the jury corrupt,” Heimdall says.
The following year, the same young artist was accepted into the Autumn Exhibition. So did two of Heimdall’s fellow artists. The 20-year-old experienced it as a form of compensation for the classic figurative art of Norway.
– However, it is partly a result of the fact that we said it clearly from the previous year, says the 20-year-old.
He calls Monk “bad”
Don’t like attention, there will be a lot of attention around Heimdall this fall.
In addition to the documentary “Prince of the Renaissance”, he is also participating in the program “Portrettmesterskapet” broadcast on the NRK TV channel, which premiered last Thursday. In the programme, Heimdall competes with other animators to depict famous Norwegian faces in four hours.
The 20-year-old weighs in on the show himself when asked why he “loves” provocation.
-I like people to be honest about their intentions. When I was at NRK’s fall launch to talk about the Portrait Championship, I noticed from the energy in the room that there were 50 of us who were not having any fun being there. We were pretending that it was a big deal, that we were excited and that we were happy to promote a product. It was remarkable that we were all puppets in one production or another. “Then I would point out the elephant in the room,” Heimdall says.
One of the biggest elephants he knows is Edvard Munch’s technique. Heimdall believed that Munch was a “bad painter.”
– Most Norwegians believe that Munch was a bad painter, in the classical sense of the term. If you go around and talk to people who don’t represent any public institutions, they often say that what he did was not impressive, Heimdall says.
This does not mean that Heimdall thought Monk was a bad person artist.
-I love Edvard Munch. Especially young Monk. Then he created some of the greatest masterpieces in the history of the world, but they are simply technically bad, if you look at the way he paints, he says.
It will be the best in the world
It seems that it costs Heimdal nothing to subvert the style of Norway’s most famous artist.
But what happened was the pressure that followed after Heimdall announced his desire to stay From world history He admits that he is the greatest painter.
– I set myself this goal when I started drawing when I was thirteen years old. I think this is a typical goal for young artists, just as other kids dream of becoming the greatest football player in the world, says Heimdall.
To become the greatest painter in the history of the world, the 20-year-old must, as he sees it, surpass both Caravaggio and Rembrandt when they are 30 and 50 years old respectively.
-But I mean that sincerely. I have said it publicly now, and I repeat the goal with the intention of applying pressure until I am forced to achieve it.
– Isn’t this all a bit pretentious?
– No, I don’t think so. For example, when I talk as I do about the Norwegian art environment, I feel like I’m pushing myself up. When I say that I want to become the greatest painter in the history of the world, better than Caravaggio and Rembrandt, I am honestly only answering about my goal, Heimdall answers.
-Do I care what people think of you?
– I don’t have a problem with what the Norwegian art system thinks of me, but towards individuals, whether in one-on-one situations or in small social groups, I’m more careful about what I say. If someone I meet feels I’ve hurt them, I care, but if criticism only exists online, for example, it becomes too abstract for me to care.
Above average “terrible”
Perhaps it’s Heimdall’s colloquial way of speaking, the absence of off-putting words, concepts, and references, that makes him seem likeable as he lights one bonfire after another.
Maybe everything Heimdall says is just a play. Maybe it’s a luxurious, carefully decorated cold table, full of tabloid words and statements, and it has only one function:
To give Dagbladet tunnel vision.
-Are you pretending and saying all this to make noise around yourself?
– No, I answer immediately. I only say what I think, think, and mean. In my private life I hate provocation, but in public life, on the contrary, I love it. I don’t really know why it’s that way.
In conclusion: On a scale of 1 to 10, how terrible was this interview?
– Maybe six out of ten.
“Infuriatingly humble web fan. Writer. Alcohol geek. Passionate explorer. Evil problem solver. Incurable zombie expert.”