Ole Aakjær (b. 1962) is a Danish watercolorist, internationally renowned for his highly graphic large-format works that celebrate the power of women. His distinct figurative paintings rely on bold colours and symbols to convey deep psychological empathy, while exploring the complexity and strength of their subjects. Aakjær portrays women as vulnerable yet empowered, sensual, fearless, seductive, and independent. Ornate ink work comes into play with tattoos often sprawled across the face, neck, shoulders, and upper body. Text and characters, inspired by music, literature, poetry, film, religion, psychology, and cartoons are painstakingly applied with ink and allude to the woman’s mysterious thoughts and feelings. Aakjær struggled as a sensitive, passionate child in search of stability and calm. He turned to drawing and painting as a source of comfort and escape.
In his exhibition “Birdland”, Ole Aakjær experiments with colours, with his imagery, and with his concept. “I wanted to add birds to every piece”, he says, “to see what happened, to see if I could better express myself through them”. With his singular goal being to weave the tapestry of his life through these portraits, Aakjær does not heed coherence and conclusion, declaring that “the bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song”. This is his calling; to tell his story through these intricate, bold, and colourful portraits of the women that populate his imagination and vehicle his story and ultimately his own song.