Nadia Plesner (born 1981) is a Danish artist working and living in Copenhagen, Denmark.

The disappearing boundaries between the editorial and advertising departments in the media was a central theme in Plesner's works from 2007 - 2013. She is mostly known for the drawing Simple Living, in which she portrayed a Darfurian child holding a small dog and a caricature of a designer bag with the intention of denouncing the way in which the Western media was reporting the genocide occurring in Darfur. Simple Living was printed on t-shirts and posters in 2007 and sold to raise money for the organization Divest for Darfur.

Due to a lawsuit from Louis Vuitton, Plesner stopped selling the t-shirts, and instead she implemented Simple Living in a different piece: the oil painting Darfurnica, which led to a new lawsuit from Louis Vuitton. The brand demanded that Plesner pay 5000€ for each day that the painting was exhibited in public or online, claiming that the art work represented a “threatening infringement of intellectual property.” This time Plesner chose to countersue and the case led her to the Hague, where in June 2011, after a long and costly legal battle, The European Court of Justice, rejected Vuitton’s arguments, annulled the accumulated fine of 485000€ and ordered the brand to pay 15000€ for Nadia’s legal costs.

She explored the demands for art to imitate the time we live in where all information is fast-pace and people's attention range is quite short.

 

Since 2013 Plesner has been working on a new series of paintings, drawings and sculptures with the working title Delusional Self Mythology. The collection of works will be exhibited in different locations in Copenhagen from March 2014.  

 

Plesner is a member of the artist group Emergency Room, an art format by Thierry Geoffroy. The Emergency Room is a launch pad for artists burning with desire to engage in the current debate. The exhibition changes everyday at 12 noon. The works from previous days are exhibited in the Delay-museum around the Emergency Room.



Emergency Room has been launched in: 
Copenhagen: Nikolaj Contemporary 2006, 
Berlin: Galerie Olaf Stueber 2006, 
New York: PS1 / MOMA 2007, 
Athens: Ileana Tounta Gallery 2007, 
Paris: Galerie Taïss 2008, 
Naples: PAN 2009, 
Hanoi: University of Fine Art 2009/11, 
Wroclaw: Europejski Kongres Kultury 2011.

 

Her work has been published in several school books and used for teaching in elementary schools, high schools, universities and law schools.

 

In 2008 Plesner founded the non profit organization The Simple Living Committee (originally named The Nadia Plesner Foundation), through which she uses her art to raise awareness of humanitarian issues as well as raising money for aid, for example shipments of medical and school equipment to various destinations.

You can read more about The Simple Living Committee here:

Early life:

Nadia Plesner was born in Frederiksberg in Denmark. Her father is the owner of a local newspaper and her mother is a doctor's secretary. Plesner showed drawing skills from an early age and illustrated a quiz book for children at the age of 9. After completing high school she tried out many different creative educations from architecture and classical drawing to graphic design at the Graphic Arts Institute in Copenhagen, but when she visited a friend who studied at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam she fell in love with the art school right away and moved to the Netherlands in June 2006 to study Fine Arts. 

 

Breakthrough:

Plesner completed her first semester, but in January 2007 she was involved in a severe traffic accident and suffered memory loss, a severe concussion, injured legs, the loss of hearing on one ear as well as the loss of her tasting sense and her smelling sense.  
She spent the next 4 months recovering in bed and it was during this time she decided to use her art in a more conscious way and started with the drawing Simple Living as her first Darfur campaign which ended up being her breakthrough as an artist. Plesner did rehabilitation training in Dutch hospitals for two years and has now fully recovered from the accident.

 

Awards:

2008: Cosmopolitan's Provocateur Of The Year award.

2011: Oxcar award.

2011: Nominated for the JCI Ten Outstanding Young People's award.

 

Places of education:

The Graphic Arts Institute, Copenhagen

The Gerrit Rietveld Academie, Amsterdam

 

Work published in following books:

2013: Intellectual Property Law by Lionel Bently, Herchel Smith and Brad Sherman (Not published yet)

2013: The Library Juice Press Handbook of Intellectual Freedom - Concepts, Cases and Theories

by Mark Alfino and Laura Koltutsky (Not published yet)

2013: Doing Dutch by Frame Publishers

2013: Grundbog i kunst og arkitektur by Jørgen Holdt Eriksen, Sophie Holm Strøm and Henrik Oxvig

2012: Maak er wat van by Joep Schrijvers

2011: Trademark Protection and Freedom of Expression by Wolfgang Sakulin

2010: International Contemporary Artists, volume II by InCo Artist books

 

In 2012 Simple Living was selected as the official illustration of artistic freedom on United Nation's website.

In 2013 Simple Living was selected to illustrate a hearing on artistic freedom in The European Parliament.