New prints by Peder Hagen
For the first time ever, we are excited to offer archival digital prints of three original works by longtime Interact artist Peder Hagen.
Hagen has devoted the last fifteen years of his practice to developing work about Cressia, a fictitious utopian civilization. Dreamt up in countless sketchbooks and catalogued across hundreds of drawings, Hagen's Cressia is built on four pillars: kindness, compassion, reverence, and recycling. Its inhabitants — people, fairies, anthropomorphic flora, and celestial bodies — enjoy an entirely analog, natural world.
The newly released suite of prints includes two untitled works (shown above, left and right) that Hagen refers to as Cressian textiles. In a vibrant array of crystalline abstractions, they are detailed views of the intricate garments that Cressians wear. The third print, Two Ladies Meditating Among the Flowers (above, center) portrays two elaborately dressed figures set against a tangerine sky, a colossal crimson flower between them. Hagen completed the original drawing in 2015, and it remains an important part of Interact's archive, which dates back to 1996.
For Hagen, the act of drawing is a bridge to utopia. He primarily draws with gel pens, composing each piece with tight, energetic marks and ornate details. Inspired by renaissance fairs and illuminated manuscripts, each piece is laced with allegory and symbolism. Many of his works are so technically involved that he may spend over two years rendering one.
Hagen's work expresses a commitment to living a slower, more creative life. “Drawing and doing art – even if it’s crafts – is very moving,” he says. His work makes space for viewers to imagine alternatives to an increasingly digital world. “Some people say, ‘Oh, I want to live in Cressia,'" he says. "I think that people wanting to live in a different way is what my work reflects. It’s not just about environmentalism, it’s about how somebody chooses to live.”
You can find the suite of prints, as well as a selection of original drawings by Peder, in his collection here.
Image descriptions: (1) A detail of Two Women Meditating Among the Flowers, a drawing by Peder Hagen from 2015. Two elaborately dressed figures stand against a tangerine sky, a colossal crimson flower between them. (2) An untitled drawing by Peder Hagen. Abstract green shapes are patterned against a black background. (3) A full view of Two Women Meditating Among the Flowers. A green field is visible at the bottom of the page. (4) An untitled drawing by Peder Hagen. An array of vibrant, faceted shapes are patterned against a black background. They are drawn in bright orange, pink, green, yellow, peach, and purple.