The Heifer, the Goat and the Sheep together with the Tiger
The King’s Son, the painted Tiger and the Horoscope
The Shepherd and the Tiger, the Tiger and the Hunter
If tigers could paint…
Tiger fables is a common title I have given to my 42 watercolors inspired by Æsop and Jean de la Fontaine’s fables. I have selected about 200 fables which I think are interesting and suited my painting language. Many of the fables seemed to be similar when they were translated into Danish, French and English. It turned out that there were sometimes up to 6 variations of the same story. but I realised that Æsop is the original master of animal fables, which have later become an inspiration to most of the animal fables in Europe.
Through a thorough study of these selected fables, I experienced more and more how profound they were in their content, and I wanted to interpret them in my own way. And they became pictures…
During my work with the animal fables I have had many experiences in connection with the world we live in. This is partly true of the great international political problems, partly the close day-to-day situations which I have experienced in a different way seen in the light of the fables.
To get as close as possible to the original text of Jean de la Fontaine (1621-1695) I have read these in the original language. This is Old French, but I was so lucky as to have Anna Christoffersen to make a Danish translation as well as write the short texts to each picture. La Fontaine’s fables are originally written in verse and are often cryptic even surrealistic. There are ambiguities in the selection of the animals, – they can have different symbolic meanings than they do in Danish.
In the case of Æsop (about 600 BC) I have chosen the fables that are about animals. The short and precise texts of the fables contribute to opening the action in the pictures and give meaning to the different animals’ interaction and symbolic meaning in the picture.
Via these numerous drawings and pictures that I have made, I have moved further and further inside my own fabulous world. So that the lion has been replaced by the tiger.