Drawing his inspiration from nature and fascinated by the way in which nature creates infinite variations from simple forms, Henrik likes to define himself as someone who draws more than someone who paints. He begins his paintings by drawing freehand directly on the canvas, then applies a thin coat of varnish. He expands on this through applications of different colors, layer by layer, then he fills the negative spaces with lines of the original drawing. Accordingly, an overall motif reveals itself through a combination of vibrant colors, while leaving the possibility of adding further elements like paint splatters, graphite drawings, or other themes done in oil paint. In this way, his manner of painting reveals itself organically; he refuses to completely erase originating elements and each layer adds life and depth to his paintings, inscribing each within a particular duration of time and testifying to their respective development.
Henrik is inspired by the « rococo » painting of the 18th century, more specifically by the way in which this style celebrates the sinuous, the organic, and the sensuous, embracing the strange fairy-like beauty of natural phenomena, as well as their lack of structure and hierarchy. He is dedicated to drawing the plant world in its inexhaustible richness and which he considers endowed with the metaphorical ability to evoke human existence, life, passion, and their ephemeral nature. His works also make reference to Japanese and Chinese decorative painting, while being enhanced with bright colors that call pop art to mind.
Henrik Simonsen was born in Denmark in 1974. After finishing a year of preparatory studies in his own country, he went on to study art and design at the University of Exeter. During this period he travelled to New York for a semester, and also to Venice where his love of color was developed. His work has been shown in collective expositions in England, and more recently in both the United States and Denmark. He currently lives and works in Berlin.