The Quiet Earth is the title of Craig Harrison’s short story, where the protagonist wakes up in a world where mankind and all creatures seemingly have vanished from the surface of the Earth. This mystery has a lot in common with Christer Karlstad’s existential tableaux, but unlike the deserted streets and abandoned buildings and cars of this and countless other dystopian stories, the city in his paintings only exists as a distant memory.
In Karlstad’s constructed, ambiguous scenarios he freely engages in myths, symbols and archetypes, as this is how he sees and understands the world. When confronted by one of his paintings, wondering if somebody is dead or only sleeping, whether it’s good or evil, comforting or disturbing, the answers are actually to be found in the questions.
In his visual world of “staged mysticism” the ordinary time perspective ceases to exist. Depictions of realistic situations give way to another agenda. Compositions revolve around scenarios where normality is challenged, replaced or consumed by something else, something unknown.
Christer Karlstad (born 1974) has studied at The Norwegian National Academy of Fine Arts and Glasgow School of Art. His works have been acquired by Kistefos-Museet, Norway’s central bank, Statoil and Arts Council Norway, and has been commissioned by Refsnes Gods.
Born in Rælingen, Norway in 1974. Contemporary figurative painter. Lives and works in Drammen, Norway.
Master Student, Statens Kunstakademi (Norwegian National Academy of Fine Arts), Oslo, 2002-2003
Statens Kunstakademi (Norwegian National Academy of Fine Arts), Oslo, 1996-2000
Glasgow School of Art, 1999
Kunstskolen i Rogaland, Stavanger, 1993-1995
Statens Arbeidstipend, 2012
Ingrid Lindbäck Landgaard Stiftelse, 2011
Ingrid Lindbäck Landgaard Stiftelse, 2010
Statens utstillingsstipend, 2009
Arbeidsstipend for yngre kunstnere, 2009
Arbeidsstipend for yngre kunstnere, 2008
Statens utstillingsstipend, 2007
Vederlagsfondets 1-årige stipend, 2004
Ødegaards Legat for Malere, 2000
Ødegaards Legat for Malere, 1998
Landsforeningen Norske Malere (LNM) – The Association of Norwegian Painters
Norske Billedkunstnere (NBK) – Norwegian Visual Artists Association
Unge Kunstneres Samfund (UKS) – The Young Artists Society