Oistein Kristiansen is a male artist born in Norway.
Oistein Kristiansen image

For people familiar with Einstein the children’s entertainer, he’s a funny man who makes us smile with his own quirky sense of humour and expression. On TV we see him doing what he does best; making people smile, and especially making little people smile.

What we do not see though, is that underneath there is a very serious man, and that the funny entertainer is only expressing how serious laughter and happiness are. He’s built a whole business around laughter and humour. Einstein’s work is all about communicating, reaching out to others in a fun way, and he considers this a very serious vocation.

His art, too, appears at first glance to be fun and funny, but there is seriousness to this also. His work is technically highly accomplished, and if anyone thinks that creating humanised animals without compromising their identity and integrity is easy – they are greatly mistaken. It is one of the hardest things for an artist to successfully achieve.

Einstein’s love of and respect for the natural environment are largely what prompted him to use animals as his main subject matter. Only through careful – and serious – observation of animal behaviour can it become possible to create the images that Einstein creates.

If a bunch of funky chickens are flapping around the canvas looking like a gaggle of demented harridans, that’s because the artist has interpreted the very serious behaviour of chickens in way that can be seen as funny. It is impossible not to draw parallels with human behaviour, and when looking at many of Einstein’s paintings the question is raised: are we laughing at the animals or are we laughing at ourselves?

Given the kind of lives many people find themselves living, laughter is in too short supply, and Einstein’s profession is all about creating laughter. He manufactures laughter and humour because he believes it is a commodity that we underrate. We forget that laughter helps us to be creative; it helps us stay healthy by encouraging a positive attitude to life. Einstein’s ark full of animals crammed together so that they threaten to split the seams of the boat and tumble over the top, become a metaphor for humanity. But hey! Look closely and you’ll notice that the animals all seem to be getting along.

These paintings are as serious as they are funny because they touch the child that exists in all of us – they remind us of our humanity. The animals that are the focus of Einstein’s art are bright, bubbly and colourful, because that’s how children of all ages want animals to be. Look at the mania for soft and cute animal toys; it’s not only children who gather them up by the armful.

We are supposed to laugh at Einstein’s paintings; he is very serious about that. He knows that when we laugh his work has succeeded; it has changed everything. His work is all about laughter and as he says, “Laughter is, after all, a seed of magic.”

art-management.com work in collaboration with Oistein Kristiansen