In a new interview this week with the Norwegian state TV-channel NRK, Queen Sonja opens up about her thoughts on art and not least her own art. Queen Sonja is passionate about art, both as an art collector and as a performing artist. The Queen has been apprenticed to the recognized artist`s Kjell Nupen and Ørnulf Opsahl, in addition to having studied art history at the University of Oslo. However, her own art has not received as much praise.
A “good amateur” is among the criticisms the queen has heard. To NRK, Queen Sonja says that the criticism gives her the strength to continue fighting for art. Queen Sonja has often got the stamp as an amateur artist, to this Her Majesty says: “It was expected. I have a good friend in Denmark, who experiences exactly the same thing. So, it is expected when we are in that position. But that should not stop you from making art anyway.”
The Queen refers here to Queen Margrethe of Denmark who has also received some criticism for her art. A new gallery in Oslo is a part of the Queen’s work to increase interest in visual art, raise scholarships for artists and help make graphic art in particular more accessible. The criticism over the years has not scared her from creating and showcasing her own works of art. The queen herself exhibits graphics, inspired by Norwegian nature in the new gallery who will soon open.
The Queen says: “In the press there is a lot about music and about football and I do not think there is much about visual art. So I could have wished for that. I remember when I was at school, I was very interested in drawing. I remember I tried to copy Picasso and such artists. It was the untraditional, to break up the surface, as Picasso did, that fascinated, I think.”