Olaf Oden: The Viking Artist

by | Jul 19, 2022 | Uncategorized | 0 comments


Olaf Oden grew up in Sweden with the heritage of the Viking age all around  him in nature. Stone carvings from the Viking era left traces of a world that once was. Many of these stones were erected as memorials along the roads to tell by-passers about the Viking explorers and highlight stories from the mythological sagas and intermingled with real life events. Today, we can find them dominantly in museums but  some are still standing in their place of origin. Those visual artifacts, along with the myths and stories about the great nordic adventurers, formed a strong connection with the history of the land he walked on. That sense of connection was a passive awareness for many years until Olaf met his wife. Olaf’s wife opened him up to a deeper meaning of the stone carvings by looking at the artistic beauty and putting emphasis on the historical value they bring to our time.

Viking Art Business

This sparked a new interest in Olaf to learn more about the stone carving from the Viking Age. He traveled to the island of Gotland to photograph the stones in the wild, visiting churches where stones were used as building material, going through numerous museums and museum archives to find as much material as possible to work with. He started to use the material  to make reconstructions of the original carvings in the form of sketches. The sketches later were developed into paintings. From there, the Viking Art business was born. With an art collections of paintings, using mixed media of watercolors and gouache, limited edition prints, art cards, and many other products based on the Viking Age designs, Viking Art began to participate in the celebrations of 1000 years of the Vikings in North America where Olaf Oden had various exhibitions. Among these were the reputable the Nordic Heritage Museum in Seattle, the Maritime Museum in Vancouver, and was featured in the Smithsonian Exhibition, Vikings: The North Atlantic Saga.

Olaf Oden at the Maritime Museum, Vancouver, BC

The picture stones from Gotland (The Gotland Collection)

Olaf Oden based most of his art creations on the picture stones from the island of Gotland in Sweden. These specific stone carvings depict scenes from Norse mythology and people’s lives, in a way only found in this part of Scandinavia. The Gotlandic picture stones shows artistic traits only found on the island, indicating that a few generations of artists learned from each other and kept producing similar styles of stone carvings for a few hundred years without any indication that it spread to other regions. The Gotland Collection by Olaf Oden is a collection of more than 100 original paintings depicting specific scenes from the picture stones.

Viking Art and NFTs

Olaf Oden is reviving Viking Art in digital form and will release various NFTs in limited edition collections and 1/1’s. More importantly, new art is being produced, both traditional and experimental art, based on modern methods that combine the creative powers of humans, the random chance of computer algorithms, and the seed of inspiration planted many generations in the past. We are also laying the foundation to inspire a new generation of Viking enthusiasts with a community of artists to share a common ground. Whether you are of Viking origin or not, we hope to captivate your interest in joining our community. 

Written by Viking Artist

Olaf Oden is the artist of the Viking Art Collective. He grew up in Sweden with the heritage of the Viking age surrounding him. Today he brings Viking Art into a new era.

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