Christiane Spanesberg said on a clammy summer afternoon, sitting before white walls of a bright gallery space by the Lower East Side. The 28-year-old Danish artist takes a sip of her green juice before recounting how she wanted to understand why she felt weary this way. It was on a trip to Bali where her thoughts lingered on the thought of how New York City had once caused her such an daunting impact when inhabiting large crowds. Although currently based in Copenhagen, a populous city full of landmarks, color and life, it was NY’s energy and speed that made her spark a focus on narratives of individuals in these crowds. “I thought about freezing time and space, take a moment and stop, look at the people around us,” Spanesberg says. “If we look and think about their stories, we’ll notice at all those people, just like those blue pieces.”
What seems to be completely peculiar about these figures is their gaze. Some paintings may steal your focus, some may even scare you, while others, with one eye shut, will purposefully make you wonder. Perhaps it’s the certain kind of blue Spanesberg curated, making it a special hue that can lead you onto a crowd’s narrative and individual’s sense of clarity.
As I meticulously study Spansperg’s blue, delicate-looking figures, I also realize the amount luminescence the gallery space has thanks to its broad glass windows. The entrance reveals the works to the outside crowd. While many may stop and peak, others are curious enough to come in and have a bit of a moment to themselves.It’s one of the main things that makes the occasion be so vibrant, the work attracts curious onlookers that seduces them inside.
“The other day construction workers came in, they asked if I had sold out,” Spansperg said, “So many people just came in the first day and said ‘I follow you on Instagram, I’m here!’ – It was so nice to actually see people show up. It makes everything worth it.”
She modestly agrees, yet proudly realizes that she has obtained the power to attract all types of people into her little gallery in her own quirky corner of the Lower East Side. Spangsberg may boast an impressive Instagram following with 55.1k followers and counting, but I can tell she enjoys talking to admirers of her work.
A lot of what you see in Spansperg’s work, including the in-depth meaning and elegantly bound shapes, carry the perfect non-mixture blue you rarely get to see on something so simple. The exceptional tone gives a certain kind of energy to the exhibit as its color tends to call out the bold. Blue for the bold, or perhaps, bold for its blue.
Spansperg’s well-sought blue comes out to be welcoming yet calm and what captures the viewer’s perception is the kindness in the personality that comes across her aura. The following Spanesberg has amassed throughout these years hasn’t just been based on what she does, but how warmly and closely she communicates with her audience.
Halfway through our interview Christiane realizes she’ll need to start packing the canvases, and soon, she has until the evening to fully vacate the space. Lucky for me I’m one of the last ones to see these pieces, all under one space, with titles such as; Blinded by The Crowd and Read My Lips. Spansberg, however, doesn’t look too worried, all you can see in her is a glow that protrudes triumph. A certain victory she feels having been lucky enough to share her moods and genuine passion with the city of New York. Spansperg’s tiny victories have made possible her continuous advancement and improvement in her career. Mark Twain famously said, ‘Make your mark in New York and you are a made (wo)man.’, which fits Spansberg’s work ethic as she has beenwanting to cement herself in her corner of the industry. A mere example that the impossible, is in fact, more than possible.
“I just think that I am not scared of standing out. If you are, then you can’t produce. I am scared of failing, it feels like shit. But if I fail, I’ll go right back up 100 %, and even harder. I don’t just go down.”
Out and up we go. Our empowering conversation ended, it has left me both awaken and fascinated. Spanesberg will eventually leave the city soon too. Once she does, no matter where she goes, she will always be present if just because of how she creates a sort of utopia-for-one. She is the one with constant self-discovery and power that comes from personal growth. Her own utopia in which she is able to see and interpret poetic facial expressions bearing interesting personalities. One can only be grateful that there are people like Christiane that make you feel something when meeting them. This gives me a sense of optimism as I step out in this beautifully chaotic concrete jungle. Thank you.
Special thanks to Ignacio Ramos.