Bjarne Melgaard (b.1967) was born in Sydney, grew up in Oslo and today lives and works in New York. He received his education at the Oslo Academy of Fine Arts, the Janvan Eyck Academy in Maastricht and Rijksakademie in Amsterdam. Melgaard works in many different genres and mediums, and is especially known for his explosive installations, paintings and videos, which in many ways revolve around motifs inspired by homosexual SM milieus and black metal culture. Sex, violence, abuse, dope, angst and death are recurrent themes in his works.
The installation Baton Sinister from 2011 was created for the Venezia Biennale in 2011 and consists of a multitude of objects, drawings, dolls, paintings and video works. The work is part – and more or less a result – of a larger project that Melgaard developed in connection with the Biennial; an educational program in collaboration with art students from Università IUAV di Venezia, which focused on issues related to Aids today. Together with his students Melgaard took over a Venetian palace, where they carried out their artistic activities. Melgaard’s installation was very well received by Norwegian and international critics and was acquired by the Savings Bank Foundation with the intention of a long-term loan to Haugar Art Museum.