Roll of the dice: The dilemma of losing touch.

Roll of the dice: The dilemma of losing our sense of touch, 60 x 50 cm., oil on canvas, 2020. COVID-19 can affect our senses, notably the sense of taste and the sense of smell. But avoiding the virus also entails restrictions upon another important sense: that of touch. Scientific study indicates that affectionate touches can affect the nervous system’s rest and digest mode, thus reducing the release of stress hormones while bolstering the immune system, and stimulating brainwaves that are linked with relaxation. This self-portrait (my sixteenth) is a commentary on the dilemma of avoiding touch, an activity which we sorely need in order to boost our life quality, our sense of well-being and our ability to maintain a strong immune system. We take chances with a mental roll of the dice: “Does this person have COVID-19, or not? I need to give and receive handshakes and hugs. But do I dare do so … or not?!!”

Roll of the dice: The dilemma of losing our sense of touch, 60 x 50 cm., oil on canvas, 2020. COVID-19 can affect our senses, notably the sense of taste and the sense of smell. But avoiding the virus also entails restrictions upon another important sense: that of touch. Scientific study indicates that affectionate touches can affect the nervous system’s rest and digest mode, thus reducing the release of stress hormones while bolstering the immune system, and stimulating brainwaves that are linked with relaxation. This self-portrait (my sixteenth) is a commentary on the dilemma of avoiding touch, an activity which we sorely need in order to boost our life quality, our sense of well-being and our ability to maintain a strong immune system. We take chances with a mental roll of the dice: “Does this person have COVID-19, or not? I need to give and receive handshakes and hugs. But do I dare do so … or not?!!”

The handshake doubles as hands being constantly cleaned with disinfectant (the most popular Norwegian brand being AntiBac), and the self-portrait is in complete darkness. The study of Light reflection in the bottle, and the negative light/shading in the cat-like curious yet restrained eyes were also challenging… as well as the sickly pink polka dots, which symbolize the COVID-19 virus cluster model wantonly spreading in a surrealistic background gives a psychedelic and psychological effect.

“Terningkast: Dilemmaet med å miste berøringsans”, 60 x 50 cm., Olje på lerret, 2020. COVID-19 kan påvirke sansene våre, særlig smakssansen og luktesansen. Men å unngå viruset innebærer også begrensninger for en annen viktig følelse: berøring. Vitenskapelige studier indikerer at hengiven berøring kan påvirke nervesystemets hvile- og fordøyelsesmodus, og dermed redusere frigjøring av stresshormoner mens det styrker immunforsvaret, og stimulerer hjernebølger som er knyttet til avslapning. Dette selvportrettet (mitt sekstende) er en kommentar på dilemmaet med å unngå berøring, en aktivitet som vi sårt trenger for å øke livskvaliteten, følelsen av velvære og vår evne til å opprettholde et sterkt immunsystem. Vi tar sjanser med en mental terningkast: “Har denne personen COVID-19, eller ikke? Jeg trenger å gi og motta håndtrykk og klemmer. Men tør jeg gjøre det … eller ikke? !! ”

“Masquerade: COVID-19”.

“Masquerade: COVID-19”, oil on canvas, 46 x 55 cm., 2020, is self-explanatory at first glance. However, here I have left certain features slightly unfinished: the naked eyes, the disintegrating painted frame, etc.; this to suggest vulnerability and a sense of incompletion. COVID-19 presents the unanswerable questions of how effective we really are at masking fear of the unknown, and which “me” peers out from behind the superficial protective covering. This painting is a continuation of my self-portrait series, in which I explore different ways of seeing and presenting myself — with various styles and painting techniques.

Coffin portrait/Lockdown — Summer fun.

“Coffin Portrait / Lockdown — Summer fun”, oil on canvas, 55 x 46 cm., 2020, the second title is perhaps self-explanatory. But it doubles as a Coffin Portrait (see https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coffin_portrait). This painting is a continuation of my self-portrait series, in which I explore different ways of seeing and presenting myself — with various styles and painting techniques.