Ross Kolby

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Tuesday, 29 January 2013 22:38

Unveiling of the Lorentzen portrait

The Rio based businessman Erling Lorentzen is a central figure in Norwegian business life as well as internationally. His building up of Aracruz Cellulose to the world's greatest producer of bleached pulp has been his lifework.


Mr. Lorentzen generously donated the portrait of Gunnar "Kjakan" Sonsteby to the Norwegian Resistance Museum, and in that connection I got to know him. A wish to also capture this man with his history from the 17 year old volunteer resistance fighter to international industry giant was a fascinating one. And in connection with his 90th birthday I got the possibility to portray him.


In the evening of the 28th January Mr. Lorentzen held a gala dinner at Grand Hotel in Oslo to celebrate this event. A 150 guests from all over the world attended the dinner party, among them also the King, the Queen, the Crown Prince and the Crown Princess.


The portrait of the jubilant was unveiled in the Rococo Hall in front of the guests, and both the model and the painting underwent close inspection from the interested guests. I am honored to have had the possibility to portray both Sonsteby and Lorentzen, two old friends from the 1940's, both men with unique and outstanding stories and lives.

Saturday, 13 October 2012 09:48

Yara International buys "Nourishment"

The painting "Nourishment" was my way of debating the terror attack against Norway the 22. July 2011. Terrorist Anders Behring Breivik used Yara fertilizer to make his devastating bomb which killed eight people and demolished several Governmental buildings in Oslo, including the Prime Minister's office.


My point with the painting was the absurd gap between the original intent of use of the Yara fertilizer; to nourish people and save human lives, and Breivik's use of it.


I was especially content when Yara International purchased the painting 27th August 2012 - the first day it was displayed at Fineart Gallery in Oslo. The painting is now a part of the official decoration of the Yara International headquarters in Oslo.

Saturday, 13 October 2012 09:29

Unveiling of the Sonsteby portrait

After four months of working on the portrait of the legendary resistance fighter and leader of the "Oslo gang", Gunnar "Kjakan" Sonsteby, the painting was unveiled 15th November 2011. In a private arrangement at the Norwegian Resistance Museum Sonsteby unveilet the portrait along with his long time friend and giver of the painting; Erling Lorentzen. He was himself part of the resistance fighters during World War II, where he met Sonsteby. Several other WWII veterans were attending the arragement.


It was a memorable moment when the two old friends together lifted the cover and displayed the painting - 70 years after they met in war torn Oslo.


My meetings with Sonsteby have been a great experience. Getting to talk to a man who was a part of WWII history, and could tell me first hand experiences was overwhelming. Not only his deeds during the war are impressive, but his continuous work for making youth understand the importance of democracy has served Norway the last 70 years.


A new unveiling of the painting at the site it is now hanging was held later the same month, with the Chief of Defense, the Secretary of Defense and other military personnel along with Sonsteby and veteran friends. Knowing that the painting is hanging at Sonsteby's last office - now a museum - is a great honor.