Ragnar Stefánsson was born 1957 in Reykjavik but now lives and works in Sønderborg in Denmark.

   He studied first art in Iceland followed by School of Visual Arts in New York. Several years later, he took an education as a psychologist which coincided with a break in art-creation for quite a few years. In 2012 he began anew with photographs and in the beginning of 2015, he started with his paintings again. Consequently, there has been no return for him to a “normal” life; he has been increasingly engaged with his paintings. Now he only works part-time as a psychologist.

   Ragnar has an ongoing fascination with the amalgamation of materials of opposing natures and one could thereby say that he has a dualistic approach to paintings. In his most recent paintings, we see an attempt to unite organic and synthetic materials.

   Originally grounded in the expressionistic tradition, he lets go of control and invites coincidences and mistakes to be an influential part of the process. But then he is also influenced by the modern industrial approach to production and the use of industrial materials and techniques. This approach is deeply influenced by his background, but as a young man he took an education as a furniture maker and later he worked making prostheses. Because of this the paintings have a quality of a physical approximation and are often quite large in their size. The dialog between him and the painting, between accidents and logic, between the traditional expressionistic painting and craftsmanship, between the impact of coincidences and the predetermined goal of the painting therefore has multiple roots. Creativity happens on the periphery between control and chaos.

   Hallmarks of Ragnar ́s painting are experiments with material and handcraft. In his experiments, he has been working with traditional materials like oil paint, but also industrial materials like epoxy resin, polyurethan, carbon fibers and fiberglass. At the same time, he has been experimenting with photographical prints, dried plants, air bubbles and color pigment made out of flowers. He works with layers that create an illusory depth. Often the viewer cannot fully see what the inner layer implies but can only assume that there is something happening in the depth of the painting. The depth becomes diffuse like an unconscious memory or the hidden influence of our modern society. In this way there is a clear psychological impact on his works.