Sigurdur Olafsson is a visual artist living and working in Iceland.

He applies paint to his canvases with large custom-made squeegees, trowels, spatulas, and other unconventional tools. Through an accumulation of spontaneous, reactive gestures, he composes multifaceted works with intriguing colour combinations and spiritual quality that explore the boundary between faith and uncertainty.

His passion is to use the medium of painting to explore new patterns and forms that lead to novel creative discoveries. His paintings pose a series of questions rather than provide clear statements or narratives. Olafsson is interested in the transcendent potential of painting and employs the medium to explore the physical properties of paint and innovative possibilities in its use. In some ways, his work can be seen as conceptual rather than paintings in the traditional sense.

His working technique is a paradox; it combines artistry with randomness; discipline with a loose and playful approach. Characterized by austere compositions built on layers of hidden complexity, Olafsson’s paintings elegantly negotiate the boundary between the concrete and the metaphysical.

Olafsson is a graduate of The Icelandic College of Art and Crafts. His work has been exhibited in Iceland, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States. His work is held in public and private collections in Iceland and private collections in Europe, Asia, and the Americas.

artist's statement

In a world that abounds with technology and machine-made perfection, a painting provides a welcome alternative; a way to connect with something natural and intimate. It takes us back to the roots of human creativity and our most basic form of self-expression.

I love old handmade things that have a history and a soul. Abandoned farmhouses, ghost towns, and other forsaken human relics fascinate me. I like the feelings they evoke and the poignant stories they tell. Weathered layers of peeling paint, rusted metal, and crumbling concrete have a strange visual quality that I find interesting.

I try to induce similar feelings in the viewer's mind with my art. I am exploring something that I can only describe as the boundary between faith and uncertainty. I believe in that elusive and mysterious area I will find the secrets of creativity itself or at least continued inspiration on my artistic journey.

What do I want to say with my art?

Treasure your humanity and uniqueness. Meaning can have many layers, and it is a worthwhile effort to uncover a few of them. Celebrate the eccentric and the mundane, the hidden as well as the obvious. Beauty can be found in the most unlikely of places.

Using Format