Bjorn Okholm Skaarup is a danish artist, but indeed much more than that, as he is also a fluent italian speaking art historian, with a PHD obtained in Florence.
He is probably the most famous artist present inside the Frilli Gallery, possesing an irrepressible vitality which explodes in his artistic works.
He is an illustrator and sculptor of undisputed flexibility and a treasure trove of knowledge.
His works address the dialogue between sacred and profane cultural, with just the right amount of irony, the popular imagination of comics and film.
Bjorn is indeed a very prolific artist, composing several different series of animal characters, from the “Carnival of the Animals” feature debut artworks, to the most recent “Zoodiac sign” series of sculptures.
Carnival is the celebration of life, where under skirts and ruffs, beyond the colors of cast bronze, vibrates the passionate tribute to the great Degas and his bronze ballerina with tulle tutu, and Picasso’s paiting of the bashful and dreamy Harlequin. And that is also a passionate quotation for the great master of pencil drwan dreams, Walt Disney.
The famous Hippo Ballerina is indeed Bjorn's most iconic sculpture, of which in 2017, a gigantic version of over 15 feet height, stood long in front of the Metropolitan Opera House and then moved to the Flat Iron in New York City, where it is still admirable.
Bjorn is never too full of illustrious quotes.
His latest creation, the “Troy Horse”, based in the epic Homeric novel, the Iliad, is narrated trough the incident of some very funny Greek Cats fighting against Trojian mice.
The “Laocoon”, again another ancient greek legend, of a Trojian priest attempting to expose the truth about the wooden horse made by the Greeks, is here represented by a family of monkeys, who are entangled not by a gigantic snake trying to kill them, but yet in a joyful play with a garden hose.
“Noah's Ark” is yet another genious creation in bronze by Bjorn, full of meanings and deep significances for our tumultuous times. It reminds us that we are indeed all sharing a same boat, a boat for hope, a boat for salvation, and in such sense it is a profound remainder of our situation nowadays, of how we need to be supportive of one another as one big human race.
His latest series of animals named “The Zoodiac”, is a tribute to the zodiac signs exhalted trough the hyronic features of a plethora of different animals, which Bjorn once more describes with is witty and genius sens of humor. We indeed feel like being visiting a bronze zoo of animals, in which mice are ever present little creatures, but also all the other animals are represented in order to highlight the typical characteristics of each single “Zoodiac” sign.