2 October 2013

Jesse Bernard Paul Olsen: The Man, The Myth, The Legend

Words: Saskia Edwards
Images: Saskia Edwards
Artworks: Jesse BP Olsen

Jesse Olsen is a Brisbane-based artist. But he’s so much more than that: universally acknowledged creative genius, Krav Maga expert and total rogue male down to the bristles on his wild unruly beard. Something he also fails to tell people is his latent talent for acapella singing. I had the pleasure of speaking to this Zeus-like figure of the Brisbane art world.

SE: What materials do you use?
JO: I use fine line pens, watercolours, water based inks and gouache.

SE: Why are you an artist?
JO: It’s the only think I’ve been able to concentrate long enough to do.

SE: How long have you been in the art game?
JO: 6 years.

SE: Why do you draw?
JO: I’ve always drawn for as long as I can remember. I like to express myself with my hands. (He added a wink here)

SE: What else would you do if you weren’t an artist?
JO: That would make my life so easy. I’d probably be a builder. Maybe a boat builder. (I think he was hinting at body builder). Being a professional dancer would be really cool. I feel like I have the energy and focus to be the best at anything.

SE: What was the first exhibition you ever saw?
JO: I saw a Brett Whiteley retrospective in Sydney when I was young.

SE: What would you tell the children of today?

JO: Umm you know ahhh. Be honest and patient.

SE: What motivates you?
JO: It’s hard to say. I’m very competitive. I’m never really satisfied with what I’m doing and I guess that’s the strongest emotion I feel with my work.

SE: What’s your next project?
JO: I’m trying to paint more at the moment. Mostly portraits and large scale works, but I’d like to do more films and write more and also use old materials.

SE: What’s your favourite sport?
JO: Obviously boxing.

SE: If you had to wear the same outfit forever, what would it be?
JO: I’d probably wear something in gore tex.

SE: If you could see a word outlawed what would it be?

JO: I would actually pick a phrase; ‘Cool to the touch’.

(Pictured: A collage of Jesse Olsen with his artwork)

Disclaimer (FULL DISCLOSURE: The author has a personal relationship with Jesse Olsen)

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