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Good Bye Norway

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The review for my show came out in the papers this morning. And while I don’t speak Norwegian, I’ve been told that they said great things about me and my art. Still, I don’t want to over stay my welcome. And when I came across these welcome (or perhaps UNWELCOME) mats as I walked through town yesterday, I realized that perhaps it was time for me to return home. LOL

Actually Norway, and especially the people of Tonsberg, and surrounding area were nothing but gracious and kind to me. And I must tell you, I have fallen in love with them as well. All of you treated a nobody like me as if I were art royalty. Thank you. And A very, very special THANK YOU to Marte, she believed in my works at once. She added me to her own collection, and when she ran out of wall space, she introduced my work to Gallerie Galleberg, to ensure my work had enough walls and an audience to share my art with. Tireless servant of the people by day, each evening she tirelessly made sure that all the details of my exhibition were in order. And She made sure that Norway, and now the rest of the world knows that NOBODY WAS HERE. Without Marte Jettestad there would be no NOBODY in Norway. So in saying good bye to Norway I say good bye to a kind and generous patron, and a great friend as well. Thank you all so very, very much… I am so lucky to have her as my International representative (wink)

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Harley Davidson Commission: THE PRICE OF BEING

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The Price of Being

It has been anything but free,

Freedom,

My Thoughts,

My Art,

My Voice,

My life.

Others have paid more.

Yet, I have paid dearly.

At night,

alone,

I’ve tried.

I’ve Died.

I’ve cried.

I have not, nor will I ever.

I refuse to quit.

I am somebody too. – TMNK

Harley Davidson Commission

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It’s not everyday that a New York Street Artist gets to come to Norway and be commissioned to transform an American Icon, into an Urban Contemporary work of art. I’m in a Museum of Modern Art stae of mind right now (MoMA baby!!!). Well, this is just a sneak peek, I better get back to work. This is crazy, but I’m going all in!

Me, My Skateboard and A Cup of Coffee in Norway

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What a beautiful day. Good Morning Norway! I am feeling adventurous and somewhat stressed, as it has been a week away from my studio, and while I have sketched here and there I miss my messy studio and my paints. But today I will have an opportunity to paint here in Norway, I have been commissioned to paint a Harley Davidson for one of my special collectors here, Gunnar. I woke up early and began working on my special project, but have decided to take a break, and roll out in to town.

Yo, this is fantastic. Me, my skateboard and a hot cup of java. Now back to the studio to do what I do. Time to get it in. – TMNK

Today I met a Genius

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Okay, technically I didn’t meet HIM, because he’s dead. But, I hung out at his park, Frognerparken, aka Vigelandsparken, and was fortunate enough to come face to face with sheer artistic GENIUS. The artist, Gustav Vigeland, may be dead, but his pensive, provocative, playful,  nude sculptures are alive and well.

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And if you want to study the power and beauty of the human form, you need only come to Oslo and walk amongst the manifestations of his genius until you are properly educated. From his grave he whispered loudly into my ear, “you call yourself an artist? You’re nobody, you have only begun to scratch the surface. Put down your paint brush, grab a shovel and dig.”

That’s My men’s and Them

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Shout out to Norway’s very own STAY.. for putting some epic shit together today that enabled me to build with my “Men’s and Them” from NYC – COPE2 and Ewok. My “men’s and them” are worldwide kid. Me? Come on, I’m TMNK, just a nobody. But rumor has it that NOBODY is everywhere. ;-)

Lunch with Munch at Haugar Vestfold Art Museum

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I was invited yesterday to take a walk through town, and to see a special exhibit of Andy Warhol /Edvard Munch paintings at the Vestfold Art Museum. I hate walking, or so I thought. But when you have the company of someone as wonderful as my friend Nora, time just slips away as you meander past all the interesting sights (hmmm seems some of my friends have been sticking up for me here). And even ran across a friend from New York, on the way there (or at least he sure did look familiar).

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The Show was amazing for me. Not so much that I am a huge fan of Munch’s style of work, although he is quite brilliant. But for me, a kid from the hood, it was an amazing feeling to see the great works of a master having seen and stood upon, just days ago, the very landscapes in his paintings.

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And the themes of separation and melancholy, also registered with me.  I wasn’t too impressed with Warhol’s knock-off’s of Munch’s infamous Scream, but it is what it is. Thank you Nora for an absolutely splendid afternoon. I’m very excited about my studio you are preparing for me :-) here.

Hearts for Humanity

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Speaking of hearts, the people in Norway have some of the biggest! :-) Spent the afternoon yesterday with a very beautiful woman named Nora, absorbing inspiration from some of Norway’s very talented artists. Amazing!

They Take Their Art VERY SERIOUSLY here in Norway!

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Anyone for a friendly game of paintball? :-)  ART IS HIS WEAPON.

Lasting works of He(art)

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I awakened early today, listening to living biographies, leaning of their works and the lives they lived. And so I gave pause to consider my place , my significance if any, in the great book of art. This morning I feel like one of them, yes, I feel like a great artist. Not because of the media attention (Marte has emailed me to inform me that I am in another newspaper today), and not because of the success of the exhibition. I clicked on the link, and not knowing or understanding Norwegian,  I saw something that filled me with great pride and confidence. It was the picture of a woman I had met at my opening, the woman who I had mentioned had given me a gentle kiss upon my cheek and flowers. And do you see that beaming smile on her face, that glow in her eyes? I painted that. Yes, Nobody did it!

I will leave it to history, the critics and collectors to debate the merit of my paintings, but for me my greatest works of he(art) won’t be found on the walls of the museums,  galleries, or on street walls for that matter. The smiling facings I’m sometimes fortunate enough to provoke, or perhaps an impression I may give that touches someone’s soul or spirit, the way they’ve touch me. This is my art. Perhaps, my scribblings masquerading as paintings are the receipts, the physical evidence, proof of our transaction.

You all have given me something very special, I will treasure your warm kind embraces a lifetime. And your smiles, bursts of sunshine traveling across the unique landscape of your face I won’t soon forget. Yes dear woman, I WILL paint upon your yellow car, in the night, and we will have fun with grandma. And yes my friend, it was MY honor to draw upon your daughter’s scooter for her. ANd Nora, you do more than collect dolls, YOU ARE A LIVING DOLL. And, you are a great teacher, having taught me to see, embrace, and project with confidence the greatness within myself. And NO, I will not arm wrestle with you, beautiful Norwegian woman with the strength of 3 viking men. And Thomas you sir are an excellent photographer, you managed to make me look cool.

Thank you all for these very valuable gifts.