A longer interview of Queen Sonja was published on Monday this week by state TV show NRK. The interview was done on the occasion that the Queen will open a commercial gallery in Oslo to strengthen the artists’ finances. The gallery will sell art and all proceeds will go back to the foundation, which will help artists financially. The Queen Sonja print award is now the world’s largest and leading award for graphic art.
Her Majesty said: “What is a life without art? This is something we have all missed now after the pandemic. We have missed going to the theatre, going to exhibitions and experiencing art. We wanted a meeting place where we could also sell what we have of art. We are starting a gallery to build up equity, to be able to help more artists. We have been working for 10 years now and it is very giving to be able to work towards a vision of having a meeting place where we can discuss art and show art.”
On the question where does the passion for art come from, the Queen continues: “That is not good to say. I had a brother who had an orchestra when he was young, he both painted and drew. He was very interested in art. I guess it was my family in general too. Therefore, it came naturally to me. I remember when I was at school I was very interested in drawing. I remember I tried to copy Picasso.”
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 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.”
The Queens new gallery is set to open soon in Oslo.