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Graduation poster 2020

Tal R has created the graduation poster of 2020

The recognized artist Tal R is the person behind the graduate poster of 2020, which the graduates are given as a gift by the alumni network at SDU. The message of the art piece is, that it does not matter if you are met with resistance

By Nana Mathilde Bjødstrup Mortensen, , 6/3/2020

Tal R’s studio is located in the city center of Copenhagen. The big room, with high ceilings reeks of creativity. The studio is filled with big sculptures, half-finished art pieces, and a whole wall filled with art books. It is laying on a crammed packed table with dried paint stains, big piles of sketches, and tubes of paint. SDU’s alumni poster 2020 is created by the recognized artist Tal R. 

The art piece consists of watercolors, colored pencils, beeswax, coal, and pastel colors. The bright colors and the childish fantasy world contrasted with the tragedy, which plays out in the pictures: A horseman falling off his horse. 

- In this picture, the horseman falls. He does not only fall off, but he falls. He falls, at the same time in which the horse tries to jump over the waterfall. Falling, falling, falling down into a pink waterfall, says Tal R about the picture with his Copenhagen dialect. 

- We are in a bit of a fantasy world. In a fantasy world and sometimes in the real world, a fall can lead to a transformation and to a before and after.


The art poster refers to resistance in life

The art poster is given to the graduates by the Alumnet, SDU’s official alumni network. It will give the graduates a physical reminder of their time at SDU. Tal R believes, that it is a beautiful thought to give the graduates, an art poster as a gift. 

- When you are a graduate, you are full of anticipation and expectation. You have just completed your studies and are starting what looks like reality. 

- It gives a wierd stone in the shoe, if you at the same time receive a poster, where a man in a chromatic way falls of a horse and down a waterfall. It is not a gun pointed at your forehead. It is just a stone in the shoe regarding what life has to offer. Ups and downs can often switch places. Maybe a down can also be an up in a different way or at a different period in time. I think it is a very beautiful and thoughtful thing to receive, as Tal R reflects, takes a pause before he continues: 

- You could always say, if you fall into a pink waterfall it cannot be so bad. 

Tal R is trained from the Kongelige Danske Kustakademi. Today he lives off of his art, which is exhibited in Denmark and abroad. Including Berlin, Tel Aviv, London, Stockholm, and multiple places in the United States. 

Tal R has tried to fall off a horse himself. Both in real life but also metaphorically. 

- I believe it is nearly impossible to walk through life without falling off the back of a horse. I have never really ridden a horse and I am actually scared of horses. The only time I have sat on horseback I was thrown off. The horse double backed and threw me off. My friend Long-Lars said, that I made an unbelievably impressive summersault in the air, he says and laughs. 

- But if we speak about horses in a more metaphorically way, then I would say, that life is a long bead row of falling off a horse. If not, it would be a very boring life and a life which does not change in any way. 

You do not reap what you sow 

The poster shall also be a reminder to the graduates to stay in touch with the university, even though they are no longer students.  The former students are important to the university. It is a way for SDU to improve and thereby strengthen the quality of courses and research work. Students can, therefore,  be asked to share their knowledge and experience by being a mentor for students, to hold presentations, or to be a part of the advisory board. 

Tal R worked in Düsseldorf for nine years, where he taught art at the art-academy. Here is was also important to him, that the students should learn, that is it okay to fail. 

- In Düsseldorf I always had the idea that “invest in loosing” should be written over the entrance door of the academy. Everything you learn with acquiring a skill trade. Every time you make the big blunders, mistakes, and falls, there is more to learn than if you roughly frame the ride. 

Tal R concludes with one advice for the almost-graduates. 
- There is a saying, which says: “you reap what you sow”. But if you change it around and reinvent it: “you don’t reap what you sow”. This must be my advice for the graduates, says Tal R. 

The graduates receive the art posters at graduation. If you do not participate, you will have the opportunity to pick up a copy at all campuses. Write an e-mail to