Kurt Halsey: The man behind the canvas

There are many artists who strive to capture a feeling through artwork so well that it mesmerizes people and leaves them wanting more. In this day and age, there are tons of struggling artists who just want to make it, but there is only one who has recently been successful.

Kurt Halsey Frederiksen is a 29-year-old talent living in Portland, Ore., where he paints and draws depictions of the mind and heart.

Halsey’s images appear innocent, but have dark underlying messages. They are usually sketches of a boy or a girl with a relationship-based thought written to the side. A theme that shows up in much of Halsey’s work is post-it notes with sayings written on them next to the drawing.

In an artist statement Halsey gave about himself for the Art Star Gallery and Boutique located in Philadelphia, he explained his influence as his hopeless romantic and super sensitive mindset.

“I pay far too much attention to the little things in life and in the relationship between two people,” Halsey said. “In constant need of reassurance, explanation, closure and attention, my paintings are made.”

Halsey graduated from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design in 2000 with a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts in painting. His artwork has since been exhibited in major cities around the country and is now being sold at the popular clothing store Urban Outfitters.

Halsey’s first series of artwork added to the Urban Outfitters catalog was an immediate hit.

An underground talent such as Halsey selling his artwork to a mainstream store shocked many of his fans. Some were happy his drawings were now more accessible and affordable and some were upset and afraid their favorite artist would “sell out.”

In an interview with Cisco Griffin, Halsey explains how he came about the collaboration with Urban Outfitters and the reaction of his fans.

“The word ‘sellout’ has happened,” Halsey said. “I try to explain that I’ve never worked with a company before. I turned down Hot Topic wanting to do T-shirts. That’s not something I want to do, but when Urban Outfitters came along they wanted to do these mini stretched canvasses… I bought in so that people could have these mini paintings, which I thought were a really cool little project. It was an opportunity and the first, really, that I’ve been offered that I wanted to take.”

Halsey recently added another collection of artwork to the Urban Outfitters catalog called Wanderlust Triptych. This wall art is a set of three images stretched on separate 8-by-8 inch canvases for the price of $40 which can be ordered online or bought at the store.

For more information, visit www.kurthalsey.com.