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Trailerpark: Simon Væth

Ahead of this weekend's Copenhagen-based music and arts festival we speak to Simon Væth on the Danish arts scene

In the Nordic tradition of nurturing talent and a sense of community, ArtRebels of Copenhagen was founded in support of independent creative talent internationally. An online platform and agency, the most recent addition to the organisation’s multidinous portfolio of enterprises is a festival of music and visual art that has consistently received rapturous applause from its stronghold of recurring visitors.

Held in the Danish capital, Trailerpark festival once again opens its doors this weekend, offering guests the chance to savour the sounds and witness the site-specific offerings from some of the world’s most exciting painters, illustrators and designers.

Two such people are Simon Væth and Jens Paldam, selected for the strides they continue to make on behalf of the Danish art scene. We speak to the former here, before catching up with Paldam in the second instalment of our Trailerpark feature tomorrow.

Dazed Digtial: Your work is beautiful and manages to seem both nostalgic and modern at the same time. How do you achieve that?
Simon Væth:
I guess nostalgia has always played big a role for me in my work. In my teens my illustrations were black and white, sad and emo. Thankfully I got past that stage, but some of the nostalgic elements stuck with me. I'm glad you say my work has a modern look, because I have tendency to take inspiration from folk-art, and illuminated manuscripts, so I'm often afraid that my illustrations may seem outdated.

DD: There’s cleanness to your work that makes it appear new. Did you consciously choose to resist the digital tradition?
Simon Væth:
I don't resist it, I just find that getting your hands dirty gives a more vibrant and interesting result. I do use Photoshop for many of my illustrations, but always with an analog base, like a drawing or linocut. I guess I keep the Photoshop elements hidden, which is part of the trick. 

DD: Your work often has a strong narrative quality. What are some of the stories - or perhaps myths - that inspire you?
Simon Væth:
I love old myths, tales and strange histories, I've been especially interested in old myths from Greenland, because of their total lack of morality and sense. I like all kinds of old and new folk-tale and myths though, the stranger the better. 

DD: What will you be producing for the festival?
Simon Væth:
I'm doing a big, colorful wall painting on one side of a container. I'm not used to drawing on such a big scale, but I'm getting a hang of it now. It’s going to be about uniting and falling in love.

DD: Which other artists are you particularly looking forward to seeing at Trailer Park?
Simon Væth:
I'm looking forward to seeing Mathias Malling Mortensen’s scenography on the main stage, he's a very talented man! And in terms of music I look forward to the Danish Group "Dig & Mig", who produce straight-forward eighties Danish pop-punk.