About Sven Christensen
What happens when creativity, vision and adversity come together? Artist Sven Christensen is a true testament of resilience as he strives to make his dreams come true despite the odds. Born in Kristiansand, Norway, to a mother who worked as a seamstress and tailor for affluent society, and alcoholic father, this is Sven's astonishing journey in art and business.
Introduction to Sven Christensen and his Background
Sven Christensen is a world renowned artist and the co-owner of Hardy and Christensen, a unique soft-furnishings and art creator and a niche platform for emerging Artists. Sven was born and raised in Norway, where he went to University, specialising in Photography. After graduation, Sven moved to Paris to improve and promote his Street Photography and to pursue his dream of becoming a full-time artist, where he met Anna during a rainy street photography shoot near the Louvre. This chance meeting was to have a profound effect on the direction of Sven's career and personal life.
Initially reluctant to share his art with others, fearing that it was inferior, Sven continued to rely on his photography to pay the bills up until 2011, when during a chance meeting with Anna, a long term friend, she took a keen interest in the unique geometric and bold style of Sven's work, encouraging him to share it with the world and to pursue Art as his 'true calling'. Much of Sven's artwork is attributed to the nom de plume's which he adopted during his early career, partly to shield himself from criticism but mostly because he remains a shy, humble and reserved artist.
Since 2011, Sven has achieved great success as an artist. His work has been featured in many prestigious galleries and museums around the world, and select online platforms. Whilst he rarely acknowledges or speaks of them, he has also won many prestigious awards from his contemporaries and from leading figures in the Art world. In addition to his successful career as an artist, Sven remains a very talented Street Photographer, overcoming his natural shyness to put his subjects at ease.
If you are looking for a world-class artist with a passion for helping others, look no further than Sven Christensen. He believes that art should be accessible to everyone, regardless of their background or education.
Challenges Faced On the Journey
Sven Christensen started out as a self-taught hobby photographer and artist, before going on to study at University.
Armed only with a basic second hand SLR camera, bought in a charity shop just outside Oslo, Sven's fascination with the lives, challenges and resilience of people led him to start photographing people going about their lives in his home-town. Always striving to capture the essence and character of the subject and not just their likeness, the technical challenges of using a very basic film based camera and developing the pictures himself in the room under the stairs, taught him the importance of composition and careful planning. Skills which he says are as important today as they ever were.
Growing up in a poor family, often driven to scavenge for discarded or imperfect fruit and vegetables after the local market had closed, Sven learned the value of the simple things, and the importance of charity.
He has faced many challenges along the way, including financial struggles and rejection from galleries. But he has persevered, and is now an established artist with a strong body of work. His advice to other artists is to never give up on your dreams, no matter how hard it gets.
Progression of Sven's Career in Art and Photography
Sven Christensen's professional photography career began in the early 1990s when he collaborated with other Norwegian Artists in a ground-breaking out-reach programme using Street Photography to raise awareness of, and funds to alleviate, poverty in key European cities. His work focuses on capturing real people in their 'natural habitat' through his lens.
Christensen's work has been featured in numerous publications and on many online art platforms. In addition to his photography career, Christensen is also an accomplished artist, working in Oils, Acrylics and most recently in Computer Generated (CG) hybrid constructs. His paintings have been exhibited in galleries around the world and a good proportion of his work is held in private collections.
Christensen's social conscience has often prompted him to create social commentary pieces, however these are almost never shared outside of his immediate circle of friends and confidants. With that said, the burden and feeling of responsibility instilled by that social conscience can be readily seen in the extensive use of organic, sustainable and responsibly sourced materials used by Hardy and Christensen.
Never forgetting the difficulties in launching a career in Art, Sven has also worked to help many aspiring artists get their start in the Art World by mentoring them and promoting their work to galleries and independent Curators and more recently by presenting their works at Hardy and Christensen.
Taking on Co-ownership at Hardy and Christensen
Sven Christensen is now an artist and co-owner at Hardy and Christensen, a company that produces limited edition and exclusive artworks which adorn a range of soft-furnishings, functional items and Wall Art, almost exclusively produced in high quality organic fabrics. He has been with the company for over 10 years and has seen it grow from a small startup to a thriving business.
Starting in a humble Gallery and 'sewing shed' in the Parisian suburbs, as Sven and Anna's love
grew stronger, so did their business. Their shared social values and ethics coupled with their love of beauty in its myriad forms has seen them grow from a startup to a life-style business and beyond. Sven is often surprised by how far they have come. "We're doing some really exciting things right now," he said. "I'm looking forward to seeing what the future holds for Hardy and Christensen." Reflecting further on the contribution of Hardy and Christensen to wider society, Sven muses that "The intention has never been to create a Million Euro business, and we haven't, but our success has given us some unique opportunities to support our 'passion projects' and charities which align with our own ideals."
Hardy and Christensen is currently moving its operations from Mainland Europe to England, and Christensen is excited to be part of the transition. "Anna has long harboured a desire to return home, and with access to such exquisite art, fabric and a rich social tapestry, moving to England was a simple choice to make." he said. "Although in some ways we feel like we are back at square one, as we decided to go for a hard-reset, it is an exciting opportunity to do it all again, only better, and with even more focus on supporting others."
Creative Inspirations & Methodology
As an artist, Sven Christensen is constantly looking for new sources of inspiration. He often finds inspiration in the work of other artists, as well as in science, mathematics, technology and the world around him. Taking inspiration from Mondrian and other leading geometric artists, Sven has sought to drive this discipline into the present and beyond. When it comes to his methodology, Christensen is always experimenting and trying new things. He believes that art should be a challenge, both for the artist and for the viewer.
"To have the opportunity to rebuild Hardy and Christensen in England is a daunting, yet exciting challenge which Anna and I are both looking forward to. The up's and down's of Anna's health situation have introduced an addditional layer of complexity for sure, but we are up for the challenge, and are so fortunate to have the support of our friends, family, colleagues and clients."