My upcoming novel, Oblivion Black, is about a disillusioned painter who turns to drugs. She has a wake up call when she survives an overdose and realizes how easily she could’ve slipped into the black void of death. Throughout the creation of this book, I routinely looked for artistic inspiration. On my internet forays, I was instantly captivated by the art of Henrik Uldalen, which seemed to explore the same theme.

His subjects are often suspended in a black void—are they disintegrating? Or materializing? It depends on your mood, but they all demonstrate the temporality of beauty, and force one to appreciate its entropy. To me, many paintings by Henrik Uldalen feel like a surrender, or an acceptance of death. They demonstrate a perfect balance between classical and contemporary.

According to his website, “Henrik Aarrestad Uldalen (1986) is a self-taught artist whose creative production revolves around classic figurative painting, presented in a contemporary manner. Henrik seeks to explore ideas revolving around absurdism, nostalgia, loneliness and alienation, juxtaposed with frail beauty. Though a figurative painter, his focus has always been the emotional content rather than narratives. The atmospheres in his work is often presented in a dream or limbo-like state, with elements of expressionism.”

Each day, we are drowned in a glut of inflammatory, digital content. It’s hard to escape when every website and social media platform distracts us with ads and promoted content that appeal to our basest fears and desires, keeping us in a cycle of reactivity. That is why art is so precious. It is a balm for the intellect and soul, speaking to us on an unconscious level we instantly feel and understand.

So rest your eyes for a while …

Henrik Uldalen

Photo credit: All works were made available for download on