Jan Hakon Erichsen is a visible artist and self-described “balloon destroyer” primarily based out of Oslo, Norway. He not too long ago gained nationwide consideration after a compilation video of his balloon popping movies went viral on Twitter.
Within the video, Erichsen hilariously and dangerously builds more and more difficult and absurd machines with the only real function of popping balloons. Erichsen dangers his physique in a number of of the clips by coming dangerously near knives, axes, and saws. The video racked up over 9.5 million views in 24 hours and collected over 200,000 likes and 80,000 retweets on Twitter.
Erichsen’s artwork is usually comprised of movies that present him breaking objects in very cumbersome methods utilizing machines constructed out of wooden, metallic, and numerous instruments. He represents a faculty of inventive thought the place destruction is its personal type of creation. His movies have a charming kinetic, chaotic vitality that, based on Erichsen focuses on “worry, anger, and frustration”. However additionally they have a humorous, entertaining high quality which has led to them to grow to be extensively standard.
His artwork has been featured in over 40 solo and two-man exhibitions all through Norway and has been exhibited in a number of worldwide galleries. His movies have additionally been featured in a number of worldwide movie festivals. He’s been found earlier than by numerous information retailers and TV exhibits however his current viral video has gotten him nationwide consideration on a a lot bigger scale.
Erichsen graduated from the Norwegian Nationwide Academy of Nice Arts in 2004. He’s been working as an expert artist perfecting his distinctive model of artwork for the previous 15 years. He presently lives in Oslo together with his girlfriend and two teenage daughters.
Right here’s what you could know:
1. Jan Hakon Erichsen’s Artwork Is Partially Impressed by Punk Rock and Horror Motion pictures
In an interview earlier this yr with The Politic, Erichsen describes the inspiration behind his artwork. “I consider destruction because the darkish facet of creativity and I’ve all the time been drawn to it.” he mentioned, “It’s like punk rock or horror films in a way.”
He says that he’s all the time had an curiosity within the “extra uncared for sides of creativity” together with “individuals fixing their backpacks with duct tape as a result of they will’t afford a brand new one or Graffiti artists hacking their spray cans to create an even bigger mess only for the hell of it.”
He goes on to listing Chris Burden as certainly one of his main influences as a result of he was impressed by arists that “actually risked their life doing their artwork”. Burden was a efficiency artist within the 1970s most famously identified for his efficiency piece Shoot (1971) the place he had his assistant shoot him within the left arm from 16 ft. away with a .22 caliber rifle. That very same yr Burden releases 5 Day Locker Piece the place he locked himself in a locker for five days.
He previously described his artwork as depicting “worry, anger, and frustration” however says that it’s developed to depicting “darkish humor I discover in on a regular basis challenges”. His aim is to have viewers “take a look at the issues that encompass them in a barely completely different approach after watching my movies” however says if “individuals simply suppose it’s enjoyable and entertaining, I don’t see something improper with that”
That blend of leisure and distinctive artwork is what made his current balloon popping video so standard.
2. He Initially Wished to Be a Video Artist
When Erichsen first began out at Norwegian Nationwide Academy of Nice Arts, he got down to be a video artist. He needed to comply with within the footsteps of his older brother. Sadly, issues didn’t go as deliberate. Talking to The Politic, he says his “first assembly with the video division was such a catastrophe that I didn’t make a single video my entire time there”
The catastrophe of a gathering was a blessing in disguise because it pressured him to deal with “sculpture and set up work” and led him to “develop an curiosity in destruction and hazard” which in the end formed his distinctive model.
As soon as he left the academy, he was capable of choose up the video digital camera once more and begin making Instagram clips that finally made him well-known. He began his standard Instagram account as a result of he needed “to have some enjoyable with making a balloon popping contraption and considering “I’ll simply movie it with my telephone and see the way it works out” after which posting it simply to share it with pals.”
The movies obtained overwhelmingly constructive suggestions and extra consideration than he anticipated which inspired him to maintain going.
3. He Has Artwork That Doesn’t Contain Balloon Popping
Erichsen has branched out into completely different topics apart from endlessly popping balloons. In his 2010 undertaking Apparent Artwork Works, he lined tough topics together with love and 9/11 with a each day vlog that featured unfiltered, uncooked concepts with low manufacturing values.
In an interview with Anders Nygaard, he mentioned “The undertaking was about eliminating filters in my considering course of. It was works I might not usually make as a result of, in my considering, they the place one way or the other improper to make. I might as an alternative attempt to make all of them with none censorship.” He needed to cowl “All the plain concepts which I’ve a type of psychological guidelines to not do.” and produced and revealed all the movies the identical day.
He made an artwork set up titled “Combat Music” which featured Erichsen utilizing home made exercise tools designed to ‘punish’ the individual utilizing it. He additionally destroys clocks and dry pasta along with balloons.
4. He Was Featured on the TV Present Tosh.0
Erichsen’s current viral Twitter video isn’t the primary time he’s gotten widespread consideration for his work. Earlier this yr he was featured on web clip present Tosh.0. Comic Daniel Tosh pokes enjoyable at Erichsen in his trademark style, calling the movies “balloon snuff movies” and says that he “sees his work as a metaphor for a way all arts applications needs to be defunded instantly”.
The group laughs uproariously whereas they’re watching the balloon popping movies and gasps at a number of factors whereas among the extra harmful machines are in movement.
5. He’s By no means Gotten Critically Harm Performing His Artwork
After watching Erichsen’s movies, you’d suppose he’s suffered some severe accidents from a stunt or two gone improper. Most of his movies function all kinds of sharp, heavy objects flying dangerously near his head and physique.
He instructed Vice in an interview earlier this yr that he remarkably “hasn’t ever gotten badly damage” within the making of his artwork and suffered “just some scratches and bruises.”
How does he keep secure? “I attempt to not rush into issues and all the time take a look at the extra harmful contraptions completely earlier than filming,” he mentioned. “I’m extra scared that different individuals will get damage making an attempt out my stunts, I type of know what I’m doing.”
He has disclaimers on all of his social media pages that warn viewers “It is best to actually, actually, not do this at dwelling”. Erichsen’s contraptions could look easy and unexpectedly made however he places lots of work into ensuring they don’t maim or kill him.