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The PRC Stories: Life of artist couple
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Life of artist couple

Nicole Coson and Kristian Kragelund are both working as artists. In this journal, Kristian shares glimpses of their life as artists and their approach to art.

How did the two of you meet? 

We met back in 2011 at Central Saint Martins in London where we both were studying art. Nicole was in the painting and I was in the video department.

Kristian, you have decided to study further in NYC, what led you to that decision and what are you studying?

I moved to New York about 1.5 years ago to pursue an MFA in Visual Arts at Columbia University. It has been almost 10 years since my last degree, so it was quite a leap of faith deciding to become a student again, after having been a professional artist for several years. It was a decision I made during one of our endless lockdowns in the UK - as I am sure we all felt at the time, something drastic had to happen to shake us back into life, and what better way to do so than spend some in a different city. I did some courses and workshops in New York in my early twenties and never felt that I had fully gotten under the skin of the city, so I saw this as my chance.

What has been the most personally important exhibition that you both have created? And which one has been your favourite one to date?

I am not sure that I can be specific about this, in all honesty, you only really think about your recent exhibition or the next one. Art should be a reflection of the world around us, and as it is in constant movement (for better or worse), as an artist, you essentially just try to keep up.

How does it work living both in London and NYC? Where do you see yourself living in the future?

Living between New York and London is of course an incredible privilege that I do not take for granted. That being said, it is hard being away from each other for such long durations. We have the rule to see each other at least once a month, so we take turns flying back and forth. To be honest, it sucks, but it works, because we both know that it is not permanent.

I think our future will be split somewhere between the East and the West - Nicole’s family is in Manila in the Philippines, so I could imagine us spending the winter months there and then the rest of the time either in New York or London - a lot of that decision comes down to how the US election goes in November because none of us are particularly interested in living in a country where Trump is president.

The PRC Stories: Life of artist couple

When are you both most inspired?

We make sure to spend as much time away from our studios as we spend in them. Art happens outside the studio. I am not sure where we find inspiration, I do not think it is in a particular place or at a particular instance. It is likely an accumulation of everything one experiences.

Do you ever collaborate or help each other when working?

We are very close collaborators. Although it is never in a direct way, and we have rejected several offers to participate in two-person exhibitions together, we are on the phone with each other 5-10 times a day, discussing anything from hues of colour to how to reply to a certain email. We once shared a studio for 3 weeks until we realised that it was a bad idea. 

How do you approach your work and art?

I think the healthy approach to work and art is to treat it as something that naturally happens. Once you force it, once you ‘work on your art’, it loses an immediacy and honesty that is crucial for it to operate in a manner that is not just commodities to be sold and traded.