Based in Norway’s vibrant capital, Oslo, Guttestreker is an art duo whose canvas serves as a platform for socio-political discourse and creativity. With each stroke and shade, the two artists offer a raw, honest, and fascinating insight into our contemporary life and world.

Two creative minds bursting with ideas can cause more trouble and clashes than results, so most artists tend to be lone wolves. However, when and if a creative duo truly finds a balance, unimaginable art can be born. Enter Guttestreker, a Norwegian art duo made up of Petter Malterud Grøndahl and Christoffer Kroge Christensen.

Working together, the duo use their abilities and ideas to create a fantastical and colourful oeuvre that navigates and explores nature, humanity, and of course, our relationship with the planet.

“While it can be challenging when we want different things for a piece, I feel like we’ve found a good solution where the person who came up with the idea holds the reigns while the other person offers suggestions,” says Christensen.

Guttestreker: Ink and Ideals – a visual commentary on society, humanity, and nature

Christensen (l) and Grøndahl (r) explain that years of working together have both created more trust and leniency.

“This is what we burn for, so obviously disagreements can occur, but I think the years of cooperation and friendship have created a foundation of trust and leniency towards the other,” adds Grøndahl.

The two of them have developed their own distinctive traits within illustration, rooted in each of their areas of interest, which they combine to make their shared art. Grøndahl, who is an avid surfer and ski enthusiast, has a strong concern for the environment and how humans destroy it, hence his work is deeply inspired by nature. Christensen is passionate about human rights and often finds his motifs in humans and the buildings in which they exist.

“In addition, Petter is really good with colours, while I have a good understanding of perspective, so combined, we have everything we need to realise our visions,” says Christensen.

Guttestreker: Ink and Ideals – a visual commentary on society, humanity, and nature


From the living room to the Big Apple

The idea that would become Guttestreker was born on Peter’s apartment floor on a late autumn evening in 2015, long before the duo could even imagine what they one day would become.

“We both had to work a lot alongside the art to make ends meet for four years,” says Grøndahl. “None of us have a formal art education, so it was practically impossible to get any exhibition spaces in any of the established galleries.”

“We put up our own exhibitions though,” adds Christensen. “First in our living rooms at home, and then at bars – and then also in the basement of the Hells Angels in Alnabru.”

But after four years of blood, sweat, and tears, Guttestreker finally opened the doors to their very own gallery in Frydelundgata 17, in the colourful, creative hub of St. Hanshaugen in Oslo.

“Since then, our work has been featured in the biggest galleries in Norway, and now we’re working towards our very own solo exhibition in the art district of Chelsea, New York City, in late May!” says Grøndahl.

“We’re very excited to show the rest of the world what we’re good for,” he says.

Guttestreker: Ink and Ideals – a visual commentary on society, humanity, and nature


A boundless world of storytelling through art

To Grøndahl and Christensen, their art is first and foremost a type of storytelling as well as a way to communicate a message. Inspired by anything from literature and news articles to conversations and sunsets, Guttestreker come together to develop their ideas into visual forms of storytelling.

“We construct a story for each work based on the relevant themes and topics and tell them as a performance next to the artwork,” says Christensen.

An example of this unique storytelling and visual commentary is found in a painting by the duo inspired by the polarizing wolf debate in Norway. Contending over whether endangered wolves should be shot or left alone, it’s a complicated topic that has split cities and rural areas in Norway, with different arguments about safety, nature, and animal rights popping up on all sides.

“We also like to leave easter eggs referring to our other works in each illustration, so in the wolf one, there’s at least six references to other images, such as the head of the giant in the piece It’s Time,” says Grøndahl. “It’s Time is a piece that tries to show how we humans have distanced ourselves from nature and the other animals.”

Christensen explains that their art serves as a type of parallel universe which attempts to explain humanity’s missing ability to take care of the Earth and its inhabitants. Using recurring symbolism and motifs, they encourage the viewers to find and start conversations on their own.

A symbol that pops up in several of their pieces is a doomsday grandfather clock, which first appeared in the previously mentioned piece It’s Time (2016).

Guttestreker: Ink and Ideals – a visual commentary on society, humanity, and nature

Wolves of extinction: The duo like to include Easter eggs referring to other pieces of work, can you spot any?

“It represents the damage humans inflict on nature, and how we’re doing it to the point where it’s impossible for the environment to heal or regenerate. The clock can show up anywhere, in any of our pieces,” says Christensen.

Guttestreker want their work to remain timeless and captivating across decades, homes, and spaces, and hope it continues to spark ideas and conversations for as long as they’re around.


Watch the reel and more from Guttestreker on Instagram:

Instagram: @guttestreker
Facebook: Guttestreker

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