“My grand idea is to develop and create something new and outrageous, something that the art world can’t ignore.” - Leo T
Leo T (aka Svein Tråserud) grew up in Heddal at the outskirts of Notodden (the renowned Blues Festival town) in the Telemark region of Norway. He comes from a family of industry workers, hunters and farmers. A heritage both practical and pragmatic.
At the age of 13 Leo lost his father due to cancer. This traumatic and sudden experience pushed his practical sense into the realm of the fantastic and creative. He found comfort in the arts. Visual arts, music and literature became Leo’s substitute for the father he lost.
Some years later Leo studied the arts over a period of 11 years.
Music was also a huge part of Leo’s life, playing in various local bands. After tragically losing his mother in the beginning 2000, he went off and joined the renowned Industrial Metal band Mortiis and for seven years he toured the world.
Then, Leo quit his musical career to pursue the arts with all his focus on energy. After several successful exhibits, including London and New York, Leo has continued to develop his artistic expression and his unusual technique. Unlike many artists today, his works are not mass-produced, preferring to work on quality not quantity.
Leo sums up this belief in the words of French poet Baudelaire who wrote, “A massive production is merely one mind served by a thousand arms.”
This rising contemporary artist has attracted interest both at home and abroad since making his UK debut at the Parallax Exhibition in London in early 2012. Numerous exhibitions followed in Norway before his profile was further enhanced when he exhibited at the NOoSPHERE Arts Gallery in New York in 2015. As a result, Traserud has seen his standing increase at home in Norway as well as in Europe and the USA.
Leos’ talent has been recognised by the renowned Norwegian short story author Hans Herbjørnsrud. The international award-winning writer, who has been translated into numerous languages, was impressed by the artist's unique style.
As a result, Leo has produced ‘Herbjornsruds Universe’, which is a series of works based on the authors’ short stories.
Explaining why he wanted to work with Leo in particular Hans Herbjørnsrud said, "I chose Leo to illustrate my short stories because he is the best of all to express the hallucinated realism I write”.
Herbjørnsruds’ latest book 'Her kan alt skje' which translates as 'Anything Can Happen Here' was released by Norway’s largest publishing house, Gyldendal. The cover artwork features one of the works from the ‘Herbjornsruds Universe’ series.
2018 was a particularly busy year for Leo, with several exhibitions including a extensive solo exhibition at Galleri Osebro and a concept exhibition at the University College of Southeastern Norway, just to name a few.
Leo T. was also appointed as the official artist for the 2018 Notodden Blues Festival. Leo did also the cover design on the upcoming book by the American author David John ‘My Road Trip America’ to be released in February..