Tonje Moe was born in 1978 in Trondheim, Norway. Currently she lives and works in Gratangen, Northern Norway. She has studied at Monash University, Melbourne, Australia (2005 – 2007) and at Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, Scotland (1997 – 2001).
Recently her work has been included in the book “100 Painters of Tomorrow”, authored by Kurt Beers and published by Thames & Hudson, and her work can be seen in the “100 Painters of Tomorrow” group show at Tribeca, New York, from November 6, 2014.
Tonje Moe. Photo: Vegar Herstrøm
What's the best moment of your day?
My life is colored by my recently becoming a mother. So I would have to say when my baby gives me his first smile in the morning. Morning grumpiness vanishes when I see that big toothless grin.
Why do you work as an artist?
Because I love to paint.
“Green Inversion”, 2013
Which films, concerts, exhibits, or books have left a lasting impression on you?
One of my all-time favorite artists, Haakon Bleken, had an exhibition in Trondheim, Norway, when he turned 80. It was epic. His charcoal works are amazing. Utterly fearless, he is an artist who never ceases reinventing himself. And he's getting better and better.
As for books, 'American Psycho' by Brett Easton Ellis instantly springs to mind. It left a deep imprint on me. I read it as a teenager, and it infuriated me beyond anything. I remember throwing the book into the wall after a particularly horrific passage, crying with anger. I hated the author. And yet, I couldn't stop reading. Mad, how the mind works. I've never ever read it again, though. Too disturbing. On a lighter note, books about non-duality have been a steady fixture in my life for years. Non-duality, or Advaita, is about the oneness of all things, and that, really, there are no things. It's ultimately about the freedom from concepts.
“Turn Up the Silence”, 2012
Where do you currently get ideas for your works?
The view from my kitchen window. I live in Northern Norway, and from my window I see a fjord and a holy Sami mountain. It changes every day. It's stunning.
Which work(s) of art would you like to have in your possession?
'If not, not' by R B Kitaj, 'Black Curtain' by Peter Doig, 'Hibernation' by Morris Graves, 'Teenage Wildlife' by Cecily Brown, 'Shark fin blues' by Todd Hunter, 'Hud' by Inger Sitter, 'Sang ved ulykkesstedet' by Håkon Bleken, 'Beatus-Apokalypse' by Per Kirkeby, 'Off the edge' by Mequitta Ahuja, 'Kryptonite' by Mark Bradford, 'Ancient sound' by Paul Klee, many by Hurvin Anderson, and anything by Rothko. That's a lot of paintings - I'd need a big space, too!
“Same Flow”, 2011
What do you do when you’re not occupied with art?
Right now I mostly just hang out with my baby.
Do you sleep a lot?
Not really, these days.
Do you collect anything?
“Lifting The Veil”, 2012
What is one of the most important things in your studio?
What do you like to eat, and what don’t you like?
I like to eat meat, chocolate and butter. Not necessarily together. I don't like to eat raw liver, but I do it anyway, because I believe it's super healthy. And I really don't like to eat mussels, oysters or squid.
When you were a kid, what did you want to be?
Name three creative individuals, from any era, with whom you’d gladly spend an evening.
Leonardo da Vinci, George Harrison and Jesus Christ. I am taking the liberty of calling Jesus a creative. I'm sure he wouldn't mind!