RIKKE JACOBSEN EXPERIENCES THE WORLD AS A RICH-IN-DETAIL PHENOMENON, FOR WHICH SHE NATURALLY WORKS WITH VISUAL NARRATIVES ON PAPER.
CARMEN HUST | ARTICULATE #21 | OCT 2019
The Danish visual artist Rikke Jacobsen (b. 1975) has always been in possession of her artistic drive. She experiences the world as being a visual and detailed phenomenon, for which it seems natural for her to work with visual narratives on paper. Jacobsen loves the technical aspects of her artistic practice just as much as she enjoys the ardor and passion of conjuring a piece. To her, the process, the research, the composition, the materials, the narrative which she wishes to communicate, the endless hours spent with the brush in her hand creates energy and is outmost life-affirming.
What’s really impelling to Rikke Jacobsen, is her passion for details and absorption into the elements she’s implementing in her works; which chiefly consists of organic, biological and human compositions. The combination between the detailed and the abstract facilitates the possibility for Jacobsen to work with traditional techniques in a modern manner.
The preferred media of Jacobsen is paper, and primarily with watercolors, while acrylics operate as a supplement. She doesn’t work with watercolors in a traditional way (wet-on-wet), but works with a rather concentrated method, through which she has developed a far more detailed and sophisticated mode of expression. When working with watercolor, Jacobsen constructs the motifs layer by layer, in order to apply depth to the transparent colors, without losing the competences of transparency.
The works of Rikke Jacobsen are initiated by her fascination of a human or animal face expression. Her urge to tell her story has its offset in these fascinations, while she’s aware of the actual story most certainly will unfold as she’s proceeding on the piece. Sometimes, she’s experiencing a natural workflow without abruptions, while at other times it takes time before she detects what story the added element in her work wishes to tell.
Often, Jacobsen feels that the theme choses her and not the other way around. She has no prior idea of a motif. It occurs entirely on their own and suddenly she’s swept away with the urge to reproduce and reinterpret. Easily, a face expression can set the process in motion, a position or a movement seeming interesting to her can also contribute to the birth of a new artwork.
To Rikke Jacobsen, the key element in compositions, is a simple construction, consisting of figurative and minimalistic elements. The solid color of the paper must be able to carry the subject and the importance of the composition being easily readable in the elements presented is extremely important to her, while the imagery requires a deeper interpretation.
In her works, a good composition is the one that draws the viewer and encourages to relate to the work. The motives are central, simple but detailed. Jacobsen paints motifs that appear realistic, while in their isolation and contrast to the white paper, they offer new imaginable narratives.
Jacobsen's motifs are painted in a realistic way but appear abstract in the context in which they are incorporated. The symbolic and metaphorical are tools she expertly uses when presenting works that sometimes seem easily digestible, while the message can be interpreted and offers far more complicated issues.
This article about RIKKE JACOBSEN takes part of the 5th anniversary magazine, ARTICULATE #21. Read, download or order your print version of the full publication below