Aesthetics sometimes transcend the boundaries of art, beauty or design and become a way of life. They tell us how things have meaning or value for us.

In the next weeks Hercules Universal will present you with four Nordic men who each have a strong relationship with aesthetics. They perceive it, cultivate it and live it in different ways.
They will give us a unique insight into what Scandinavian aesthetics are all about.

We will show you these men in the intimacy of their working environment, allowing us to be like a little fly on the wall in their everyday day lives.

So let’s get ourselves into the Nordic wave.



Hercules Universal is proud to present you with Danish artist Tal R. Born in Tel Aviv and raised in Denmark, he was educated at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts. In the last ten years he has exhibited in museums and art institutions all over the world and received prestigious awards. In Denmark, was invited to decorate the Opera House and Frederik VIII’s Palace, the residence of the Crown Prince and Princess.

Tal R is internationally known for his super colourful and figurative painting. He often use the word ‘kolbojnik’, meaning ‘leftovers’ a Hebrew word to ‘jack of all trades’, to describe his sourcing of imaginary whether it is for paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints, textiles or videos. He is represented by Victoria Miro in London, Cheim & Read in New York and Contemporary Fine Arts in Berlin and currently holds a Guest Professorship at Kunstakademie Düsseldorf. Right now (April), he has solo exhibitions at Victoria Miro in London and ARoS Aarhus Art Museum in Denmark. Tal welcomes us to his atelier and greets us warmly. He smiles a lot and likes to make his guests feel at home. The huge work space actually feels like a cosy home: there is a big table where he usually has lunch with his team of a handful of assistants and a Moroccan style daybed where, after reading the Q&A we now know, he fantasizes and daydreams after (or during) a good day of work. One can wander around this space for hours taking photos of the thousands of objects, art works, papers, books, crayons and paints that are scattered in an ‘organized mess’ so pleasing to the eye. So if you want to know more about the man who thinks of bacon when asked on Nordic aesthetics, read on and flick through the photos of his atelier…

What is your morning routine? I watch an episode of Moonbase Alfa. Do push ups. Eat cereals. Fantasize about sex. What is your favourite place? My most favourite place is secret. But my second favourite place is walking along the lakes in Copenhagen. The sun is so bright so you get blinded. Are art and beauty essentially related? Art is all about beauty, but beauty is rarely about pretty. What would your ideal day be like? Daydreaming. Fantasizing. Sleeping. What do you consider is your greatest achievement to date? That I finally learned to tie my shoes. What can’t you live without? Daydreaming. Fantasizing. Sleeping. What do you think of when you hear the words ‘Nordic aesthetics’? Bacon. Which piece of art would you most like to own? My mother is the greatest piece of art. She gives strange unpredictable presents. When I turned 41 she gave me ketchup. What is your best childhood memory? My father saying good night with teeth made of orange peel. How do you relax? Daydreaming. Fantasizing. Sleeping. What is the most beautiful thing you have ever seen? Ponytails in general. Define modernity in three words. Modernity is everything a fancy magazine is always running after, but that has just left the building. What is the greatest thing you have learned? Invest in losing. What is your greatest obsession? Daydreaming. Fantasizing. Sleeping. What do you do to make this planet a better place? Make sure that I don’t live forever. Utopia or reality? Reality. Simplicity or complexity? Simplicity and complexity. Present or future? The future is anyhow a present. Curve or line? Curve at night. Line at daytime. What makes you feel alive? Daydreaming. Fantasizing. Sleeping. What’s next for you? Reality.

Photos & text by Sol Marinozzi.