Interview with Henrik Saar

The idea about the call

Interview by philosopher Henrik Rude Hvid, Philosophical laboratory 2012

For Henrik Saar, art is a call

After a dream, Henrik packed his stuff and told the girlfriend that he had to travel. That day, Henrik Saar knew that he was an artist. He had been given a call.

We are in the 44-year-old artist Henrik Saar's studio in Fredericia city center on a Wednesday night in April. He tells how the call changed his life. The last rays of the evening sun fall into the many beautiful paintings, and through the patio door, which is squeezed, you hear the birds singing outside.


A cerebral stroke as a 14-year-old and epilepsy the following year

For the artist and man Henrik Saar, the road of life has not been without bumps. Already as a 14-year-old, Henrik had a stroke. He had over-stretched himself for a ten-kilometer run. Something happened during the race, and Henrik was already crying at five kilometers, but still did the race. He then went out to surf without thinking about the episode. One week later, a stroke hit him, and he lay in a coma for ten days in the hospital. When he woke up again, he couldn't recognize himself.

"I was in a coma as a child, and I woke up as a man with pubic hair and had grown ten centimeters in height," says Henrik Saar sarcastically.

The world went under. Fortunately, henrik was lying next to an elite soldier who taught him to walk again. Two weeks later, Henrik again took 100 push-ups. One year after, Henrik got epilepsy, and the disease has followed him ever since, though, in the teenage years, he only with approximately one epileptic seizure each year.

The call comes in a dream.

When he was at the beginning of the twenties, Henrik Saar studied to become a teacher at Tønder Teacher-seminar in 1989, when in a dream, he was called to become a visual artist. He had previously received a set of oil paint for his 22nd birthday.

Fate wanted Henrik to have a visual teacher who had the same ironic and sarcastic attitude to life similar to that he had. His name was Erik Guldager, and Henrik describes him as a very skilled and charismatic person. Charismatic people have always interested the artist.

"People who are what they do" go along with the existential idea that attracts Henrik. Erik Guldager was the type of person where one can't imagine that they have ever done anything else. So he sometimes lived in his visual arts room. He had a small camp bed around behind the art room where to sleep if it was late. The compulsory teaching bored the art teacher evenly. But, there was a collection of pictorialists who came to visit voluntarily after the lessons and drew the croquis," says Henrik Saar.

He was one of the picture nerds. The identification that lay in the painting had to change Henrik Saar completely.

"I woke up one morning and told the girl I lived with that it was not her, it was wrong, but I, who was the weird one, and that I had to leave her now", Henrik smiles.

He took all his stuff and moved. At the same time, he left the teacher- studios.

"From that day, I was an artist," he emphasizes. "Right there: The revelation, called!"

The horse whisperer who could look around corners

If it isn't the art-teacher who inspired Henrik to become an artist, then perhaps a horse whisperer who claimed that he could look around corners, Henrik Saar has always met what he calls 100 percent people.

"There is something about the character. Words can't explain it. It is in the aesthetics," says Henrik Saar.

The call is something you did in the old days.

I ask Henrik Saar if there is room for the idea of the call today?

"I think the conclusion is that it was something you did in the old days," he answers.

Henrik thinks it's a shame. He believes there is much gained in the call and elaborates that one can relate softer to gaining insight into this life's assigned role. It may be a person who, after time and again, has tried something new always ends up being a dustman because he/she mastered precisely this for the better. He/she thus finds a role in the play. The more people who find their role in the performance, the better the game is.

The hardest part is landing.

For Henrik Saar, the call has been necessary to find himself. It has been a healing process to unite with the painting, but also hard work. You'll recognize the existential journey and inspiration from Søren Kierkegaard in his paintings. From the period in which he chose to become an artist, the teenage series contains figurative descriptions of the doubts that, with Kierkegaard's words, are associated with jumping into the 70,000 fathoms, and which is the driving force in Henrik's life. Only after 23 years as an artist does he know where he wants to be. Henrik has already gained international experience, starting at the Palm Art Award in Leipzig, Germany, where he won a third place, and was registered in the art book, "Who is Who." Subsequently, he participated several times in an artist symposium at a disused paper factory in Hohenofen near Potsdam, just outside Berlin. As a result, he exhibited in Potsdam and in Berlin, before traveling to the United States in 2009 to attend the World Art Expo in Las Vegas, which he won.
He then took an entrepreneurial education with his wife, Liliana.Together, they founded the Curator company ANIMA - All Nations In Modern Art ApS, adopting the model from World Art Foundation. They realized the exhibition ANIMA Award in Fredericia in 2011, and arranged a 500 m2 country estate as their headquarters.
Soon, however, Henrik had to admit that he was certainly not called to be a curator. He closed ANIMA, and that's where I find him now: in full swing to focus on himself as an international artist, and writes a book about the call based on his own experiences. "There is nothing as easy as flying. The hardest part is landing," says Henrik, looking out at the garden and rolling a cigarette.

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