About Storm P.
Robert Storm Petersen, 1882-1949
Silly inventions and humoristic newspaper drawings are what made Storm P. famous. However, he was also a cabaret actor, writer and painter and generally very successful in most of his artistic endeavors. His use of humour and satire in his approach to the many existential questions and musings that he brings forward in his art is one of the many reasons for his popularity.
Storm P. had a tendency to ignore the conventional distinction between fine art and popular culture, and he therefore managed to create a new and somewhat undefined space for his art. This break with tradition would place him solidly on the map of Danish art- and cultural history in the 20th century. When he was most successful, his name was nearly synonymous with Danish humour. But though it was founded in Danish humour, Storm P.'s art also received recognition in other Scandinavian countries. Storm P.'s humour is always more than 'mere entertainment' and it never seems forced. His art and his humour reflect a worldview also represented by great thinkers and humourists such as Francois Rabelais, Mark Twain and Charlie Chaplin.
Storm P. was self-taught and did not receive any formal schooling in relation to his art. He found inspiration in his surrounding environments and much of his art can be seen as commentary on- and criticism of social conditions and political events of his time.
Storm P. tells the story of how his distinct artistic style came to be in the following quote:
"One day an artist was drawing the small house in front of the large poplar tree, right where the road crossed the railroad tracks – he sat on a stile and I stood in a group of blonde, freckled, barelegged children and watched. We saw the house appear on the large piece of paper, the resemblance was striking – everything down to the smoke from the chimney was included. I did not say anything as we walked home; I was speechless with absolute delight in what I had just witnessed.
Then I started drawing from morning until night – to begin with of course the little house, then cows and horses, farms and everything in between. However, it took too long for me to make things look realistic and I quickly abandoned these studies of nature and let my imagination run wild – and now things sped up, one piece of wrapping paper after the other was covered with fictional characters – just as they are today."
Storm P. 1934
Storm P.'s art is still relevant to this day and the museum is pleased to house most of his production in the collection.