In Defense of Madness: On the Art of Ovartaci

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How could one approach the work of the Danish artist Ovartaci (1894-1985) without describing, not simply the life of this person with all its biographical details, but this artist’s persistent self-experimental productivity? Ovartaci changed himself throughout his life, from a shy boy from rural Denmark, named Louis Marcussen, to the great artist Ovartaci, the creator of spectacular visions from his lives in other eras and places. He morphed from a shy boy into a shaman, who stood in contact with spirits, animal spirits, and the spirits of long-lost family, which he magically brought to life with improvised materials. Ovartaci lived in and through his art, and to some extent, he artificially rebuilt himself.
Original languageEnglish
MagazineThe Montréal Review
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2023

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