Mathilde Grafström trained as a real estate photographer, but has chosen to use her expertise to photograph naked women, to show their struggle against self-condemnation and negative thinking.
Her photographs have been featured in all major media in Denmark and the largest newspapers in England and also a number of other European countries have discussed her art project, which has now been seen by more than 50 million people in over 30 other countries (see CV).
Her "Female Beauty" project shows a series of photographs of ordinary women, shown naked in nature, to tell the message that all women have infinite beauty, if we just dare to find it and share it with others, says Mathilde.
She says: "To my great surprise, the pictures has offended many. Nudity provokes and offends and many do not like it. It shows me that something is totally wrong in Denmark! If we do not love our own bodies and do not dare to share our beauty with others, where are we then? Remember that the naked body is in itself innocent, it is only our thoughts that are dirty!"
In 2017, the Royal Danish Embassy in Tokyo paid Mathilde Grafström's plane ticket to Japan, so she could bring "Female Beauty" to the country and photograph Japanese women. Together with the plain ticket, she received a letter of recommendation from the Royal Danish Embassy, which recognizes her success in Denmark and abroad together with the importance of the project.
The art exhibition “Nude in The Public Space” at Nytorv in 2016 was opened by Minister of Culture Bertel Haarder, who among other things. said:
"... I think she has a good message with her exhibition. There are so many people who do not like their own body. Her message is: Be at home in your own body, be happy with it. See how wonderful the human body is. After all, it could already have been said by the poet Thøger Larsen 100 years ago when he wrote the famous summer song “You Danish summer, I love you, although you have so often betrayed me. Soon clear cold colors in cloud and water. Soon naked girls at each beach." That's how he wrote 100 years ago, but the editorial committee of the college songbook realized they had to change, so until 10 years ago, the naked girls were not included in the song. But I can tell you that in the new edition of the college songbook, they have come through completely. And when Thøger Larsen was able to write about it 100 years ago, in his house outside Lemvig by the Limfjord, then we may as well be able to see it.”
In March this year, Mathilde had a large photo book published, which documents the fact that all women contain the same beauty. It shows the incredible beauty of 60 ordinary women, when they let go of their own negative self-perception.
Mathilde Grafström is 37 years old and based in Copenhagen, Denmark, where she lives with her son and her partner. She also travels to exhibit and photograph women and places.
Mathilde sees herself as an artist who inspire women to find self-love. She sees her art as a message to the world: Break free and accept life, the near, the naked and the real.
All women who have participated either as a model or as a viewer of Mathildes photographs, can get an opportunity to regain their joy of the body, through the art which calls for a deeper reflection of our true relationship with the body.
Banned - December 2015, the international break through:
The International reactions that followed and the number of politicians who was supportive, helped Mathilde Grafström’s exhibition forward. The police have since then expressed a more conciliatory attitude to Mathilde's art and finally she got the permission and the exhibition "Nude in the public space" was shown in one of the biggest public squares in Copenhagen from july-sep 2016. It was shut down in the end because of vandalism, but the artist is working on repairing it so it can travel the biggest cities in Europe in the nearest future as planned.
Mathilde's mega 50 meter long and 220 m high exhibition "Nude in the public space" from 2016 was the first of its kind in the world. Unfortunately the police censored the pictures back then, so Mathilde was forced to choose pictures with no visible genitals. She was hoping that Denmark once again would be able to boast of being one of the most liberal countries in the world. But even as a censored exhibition, it was a succes and even the minister of culture Bertel Haarder came by to open it with a beautiful speech. In 2019 she exhibited again on Nytorv, this time with no forced censorship from the police.
Shortly before the exhibition was realized in July 2016, Mathilde said:
"Now the Danes will hopefully soon see the photographs that could help the shy women towards a little more positive body attitude," says Mathilde, adding: "It's great to see that Copenhagen politicians are not made of stone, but that react the way they do now. I still do not really dare to believe in it, for I have met much resistance. But I will not give up. I do believe after all, that what we need is a more free minded attitude towards the body in Denmark. "
It is probably the major backup from the politicians, and the large part of the population that has come forward in the debate on numerous blogs about art and culture, where Mathilde's art has been fiercely debated and not least the Danish and foreign media, that now seems to have helped Mathilde Grafström in her long battle to show her pictures of women's natural beauty.
The story about Mathilde’s banned exhibition in 2015 has received considerable attention from the media both in Denmark and abroad. Especially the British press wrote eagerly in December 2015 about the exhibition that was declared obscene and banned in public spaces in Copenhagen and had compromised Denmark's otherwise good reputation of being the most liberal country in the world when it comes to the emancipation of women and sexuality.
The police ban created strong reactions all over the world with the surprising news, that Denmark was one of the more conservative countries, and in many countries there was expressed anger towards the censorship of art showing naturally beautiful women in non-sexual situations and was called indecent.
Read more: https://www.mathildegrafstrom.com/news