My HOME Away From HOME = I’m Already Home

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I left my family and friends to travel thousands of miles away to share my art and my heart with Europe. Well Europe, and and as always, especially  NORWAY, shared it’s heart with me. Norway has become my second home. And this trip was to be know exception, from the time I arrived in the Northern region of Tranøy, I wasn’t treated “just” like a visiting artist from New York. I was treated like a long lost relative, cherished and loved, finally returning home.

 

My host Stein, his house guest and fellow artist Laila, and dear Regina pampered, fed, and even messaged my weary body. (Regina is a physical therapist). And Stein Thorbergsen, the Gallery owner, has a heart as big and gentle as, the waters surrounding his beloved Tranøy. Both of which opened their loving arms to me without hesitation. And his passion for art in general, and mine specifically showed, as he created an outdoor Seascape exhibit featuring my past works, mounted on rocks along the coastal walk. Stein even allowed me to ride his Harley. And Locals, from the restaurant to hometown hero Bobby J, made this nobody feel like somebody, and right at home. A Place so loving and warm, it felt as if the sun was shinning on you 24hrs a day. ANd it was.

 

The next leg of my journey took me to Switzerland, family affair there too. Long time collector turned art dealer turned friend, Sven Steinbeck, came from the outstretches of Goslar Germany to make sure I had the needed support at Art Basel 42. And as he strode through the exhibit halls there, you could see that this man would not let his BROTHER’s talents go unnoticed. DAY and NIGHT, literally falling asleep with his cell phone in hand, as he blogged,tweeted, emailed the Swiss Bankers and Wall Street Brokers he had met during the day, all on my behalf. THAT’s LOVE. And That’s Dedication. WOW!

Then it was back to Norway, but the southern region of Oslo and Tonsberg and Horten. Home of my main family. YES, family. There’s my older Brother Gunnar, who picked me up from the airport, even though he himself, had a flight to rest and prepare for to England the next morning. Then there was Gallery owner, publisher and Younger brother Kjetil, who awakened in the middle of the night to retrieve me from a dark and desolate truck stop, where older brother Gunnar had dumped me. LOL, that’s how big brothers do. There are limits, even with family, and besides it’s a two hour drive, each way. So, this midway exchange made it easy on both my dear siblings. Then, I was provided housing at my cousins the Sternensen’s. Who also happen to be one of the largest collectors of my work there. And even though their family business happens to be farming/gardening, the delicious vegetables they grow aren’t the only things they nurture. They Love their two beautiful daughters, my little cousins, and this artist. Why cousin Bjorge, even took a day off from work to take me around town to “explore” the street art in his area. We came across some amazing discoveries too! Distressed at seeing me so fatigued from shipping  and transporting so much art, Cousin Bjorge had the  ultimate surprise for me. He had cleared out one of his green houses, and set up as an art studio for me, complete with welding equipment for the large works I will be creating for Next Years exhibition in Dubai , Art Basel 43 in Switzerland, and next years two upcoming exhibits in Norway. And, to sweeten the deal, I the studio comes with a health guru/nutritionist who prepares and delivers wheargrass shakes and enzyme cookies to stimulate and maintain my well being. Thanks ma. Yo’ L’il Erik, you English is Ball’N kid!

 

But, would would a visit to Norway be without a visit from the two beautiful women who discovered their long lost son/brother on the streets of New York some 3 1/2 years ago. My dear Sister Marte, and Mom’s aka Nora, as well as my brother Mo’! Yo’ just seeing and hugging them, it was as if I never left. And although I had only been there once before, Like any son, I had not forgooten the way home, and gave directions to cousin Bjorge right to Mom’s new flat. Besides, how could I forget, she lives right down the street from the POLICE…Come on Mom, damn, LOL..

Well, The hospitality has been no less here in Rotterdam by my host and friend, Andre. I’ll tell you more after I leave. But, needless to say Baby Bro Dré aka young money has been taking good care of me too!

 

And Can’t forget Toulon TMONK, Alex, Daniel, Ace Records, Urban Unit, Jannick, PYRS, and all the PEEPS, CREWs, and families that showed this NOBODY LOVE!

Well it’s been great, and soon I head HOME. But the truth is, I already AM. HOME.  Thank you all so very, very much. NOBODY LOVES YOU!!!! I really Do!

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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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