MIKAEL BRANDRUP moved from small town Denmark to the lights of California, setting up shop in Los Angeles, but continuing to support his native country…
When Mikael Bandrup moved to Los Angeles in 2014, he thought he’d moved to a hub of activity. During the pandemic last year, however, and curfews imposed due to rioting, the city became as sleepy as Humblebæk, the Danish town where he grew up. Like so many artists, for Bandrup the lockdowns were a blessing in disguise. Stuck – quite literally – in a box, he’s been forced to think outside it. Coronavirus is the subject of his recent work, completed in his role as an ambassador for the Danish Red Cross. ‘Vores Danmark’ or ‘Our Denmark’ is a reimagination of the Danish map and was expected to earn 250,000 DKK when it went under the hammer of Bruun-Rasmussen at the end of June 2020. Bandrup tells me his connection to Denmark became closer than ever. “I go back as often as I can,” he explains, “and there have been times when I’ve closed my eyes to imagine the fresh Nordic air. I’m proud to be a Dane in LA, and Denmark has kept up with me here, but I still miss it.”
“There have been times when I’ve closed my eyes to imagine the fresh Nordic air. I’m proud to be a Dane in LA, and Denmark has kept up with me here, but I still miss it.”
Despite missing Denmark, Bandrup still sees living in LA as a dream-come-true. “The art is overwhelming here,” he explains. “When I decided to move, everyone thought I was crazy because there’s so much competition, but I love that. I love seeing the transition from graffiti walls on the streets, right into the galleries.” Bandrup started graffiti lettering when he was just 15 years old, covering wood panels in his parents’ backyard. In 2008 he founded Identity Provided, a design agency specialising in communication, branding and web design, and his most recent collaborations have been with LinkedIn, Heineken and Google.
MIKAEL BRANDRUP is a Danish artist.
This article has also been published in Nordic Style Magazine.