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Artist Siggi Eggertsson Warps The Nordic Landscape Through A Digital Lens

What Iceland would look like as a video game.

Siggi Eggertsson is considered a design hero in his home country of Iceland. The elusive artist has won numerous prestigious awards, including the Art Directors Club Europe Gold for Illustration in 2012, and worked on a multitude of high-profile projects. Known for juxtaposing the traditionally Nordic with hyper-pigmented bold colors and forms, Eggertsson's newest solo exhibition Skvís (seen above), at the Spark Art Space in Reykjavík, pushes the artist on another small step towards realizing his goal of a fully immersive graphic experience. 

Known for his vivid, mosaic-like digital imagery, Eggertsson adorns the world with his own vision of digitally tribal, Icelandic-influenced symbolism. Eggertsson's graduation project from Listaháskóli Íslands (Iceland Academy of the Arts) in 2006, a patchwork blanket melding the digital world with the local traditional art of handicraft, became the calling card of the designer, who since then has pushed the boundaries of what constitutes "Icelandic art". Moving on from there, Eggertsson has used his interest in working with grids, geometry, and color towards an all-embracing physical experience. Speaking of his interest in immerse graphic experiences with us, Eggertsson says “virtual reality is something that I'm really interested in these days, both creating work for it, and experiencing other people's work. I still haven't tried the Oculus Rift so I only have this idea in my head what it feels like, but it's definitely going to be a game-changer.”

As for his newest installation:

“My last exhibition in Reykjavik was so white and minimal that I thought I needed to do the complete opposite this time” Eggertsson explains, “The work is super colorful and I wanted to create a room full of color that people can step into. The theme of the exhibition is imaginary girls, I created a set of 8 modular posters with portraits of girls. You can hang the posters together in many different ways and they always fit together on the edges, creating a seamless pattern. My plan; to wallpaper the entire gallery space.”

Professor of graphic design at the Iceland Academy of Arts, Goddur, (also known as Guðmundur Oddur Magnússon) compares Eggertsson to the William Gibson defined species of 'Cyber-punk' and offers up this view of Eggertssons' work in the accompanying text to the exhibition, “Siggi Eggertsson is an artist of this new world. His life has been a constant journey in the virtual world almost since birth. He has never paused to consider the ordinary. He dives deep into the basic squares which the visual presentation of the screenshot and the printed matter are based on.”

Below, Eggertsson recreates traditional Icelandic landscapes with digitally-skewered graphics. These illustrations come as part of a series of cityscape pieces commissioned for Landsbankinn. 

REYKJAVÍK

SEYÐISFJÖRÐUR

DALVÍK

What next for Eggertsson as he further explores technological outcomes?

“At the moment I'm working on an interactive children's e-book that I'm planning on releasing next year” says Eggertsson, “It's based on an old Icelandic folk story, about a boy and a magical cow. It's called Bukolla. My grandmother used to tell me this story all the time when I was a kid. It hasn't really been publicised outside of Iceland so my plan is to illustrate the story and publish it on the iPad.”

Anything else?

“Animation is interesting to me, and bringing those landscapes to life is something that I'm working on at the moment. Working on the e-book project has also increased my interest in finally making a computer game so that is definitely something I want to do.”

Perhaps Eggertssons' real world is about to become virtual.

Siggi Eggertsson studied graphic design at Listaháskóli Íslands (Iceland Academy of the Arts) before graduating in 2006. Whilst at college he interned at graphic design powerhouse Karlssonwilker Inc. in New York and worked as a designer under Atli Hilmarsson at Vinnustofa Atla Hilmarssonar in Reykjavík. 

The exhibition, Skvís, will open at Spark on the 11th of October and will last until the 16th of November. Spark is located on Klapparstígur 33 in the centre of Rekjavík, Iceland.

Exhibition: Skvís 11th of October - 16th of November

Spark Design Space,  Klapparstígur 33 in the centre of Rekjavík, Iceland.

Spark Design Space

For those curious about Eggertsson's process, below is a time-lapse video of his recent work for the Icelandic Design Center:

Siggie Eggertsson