LARS H.U.G. 11 September 1953
Lars Haagensen was born on 9/11 1953 in Copenhagen. “Hug” was a childhood nickname that he later adopted as his artistic name. After being sued in 1987 by the owner of the name, a claim was made for an estimated $10000 for the right to continue to use the three letters h u g. Using his sense of creativity, Lars changed his name to Hugh Uno Grammy, so he could still use the acronym H.U.G. So after all it was a blessing in disguise. He got a lot of PR and “the poor bloke didn’t get a penny”.
Lars H.U.G is one of the leading, most progressive and widely respected Danish artists of his time. He has covered musical genres from new wave to pop, jazz to experimental and even electronic music. He is also an acclaimed visual artist, something that has always been an integrated part of his musical career. He has produced pictures for many of his own covers and he could be seen as a visual pop artist, for whom music and art are intertwined.
Lars quit high school at the age of eighteen, found a job, a place to live and started painting. In 1975 Lars H.U.G enrolled at the Art Academy of Jutland, but instead off cutting an ear off, he brought an electric guitar!-Shortly after, he and some colleagues started the punk/new wave group Kliche. Inspired by musicians like Roxy Music and Kraftwerk, Kliche soon established themselves as an important Danish underground band, willing to break away from the classic perception of a rock band. Instead they appeared as futuristic workers of a nuclear power plant. The band’s musical adaptation of Mao Zedong’s poem, “Militia Women”, became Kliche’s first hit single and in many ways paved the way for H.U.G.’s long and illustrious solo career.
In 2004 he was the first to receive the Award set by the world famous Danish composer, Bent Fabricius Bjerre. Later that same year Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark quoted the lyrics from one of H.U.G.’s songs as the very last words in his speech to his wife, Mary Donaldson, at their wedding.
Aside from taking part in several minor projects, H.U.G has continued touring and giving concerts with his own band, with the Danish Radio Orchestra and performing at the opening of DR`s new Concert Halls. The past couple of years H.U.G has recorded music for filmmaker Jørgen Leth and made music for Artist Marco Evaristti’s spectacular “The Last Fashion” show inspired by inmates on death row in US.
Lars H.U.G remains one of Denmark’s best loved artists and has dedicated time to working with charities such as Amnesty International, Folkekirkens Nødhjælp and Medics Without Borders, producing works of art and giving concerts.
H.U.G has become a very productive painter since his first huge retrospective exhibition at the “Geth huset” in 2001 - “1000 Soundless Pictures”
Lars H.U.G’s works of art are highly sought-after, and in 2007 an art collector bought all his available paintings. He is currently working on several new exhibitions at his studio in Berlin.
In 2009 he was invited to be a part of President Obama’s inauguration by the Danish Ambassador and to give a lecture at the prestigious Cochran School of Art in Washington DC.
Lars H.U.G. is planning to tour in Denmark summer and autumn 2009.
July 2009: Exhibition in Washington DC
2010 Dekoration at TIVOLI / The Japanese Pagoda
Lars H.U.G. Exhibit his paintings : New York : The Royal Danish Consulate & Cultural Frontrunner Conference November 4-6, 2010 Scandinavian House 58 Park avenue New York, NY
Chronology: Disco- and Paintography
1980 “Supertanker” Kliche (More info) (Kliche on myspace.com)
1982 “Okay Okay Boys” Kliche (Live video)
1984 “City Slang” Lars H.U.G with poems by Søren Ulrik-Thomsen
1987 “Kysser Himlen Farvel” Lars H.U.G.
1987 “Musicians guide to the sounds of the universe” (More info in Danish)
1988 Painting Studio with Michael Kvium Mojacar, Spain
1989 Lars H.U.G. performed at the Lenin Hills outside Moscow “Next Stop”
1989 “KOPY” Lars H.U.G and the Copies 1992 “Blidt over dig” - Grammy awards: Best Album, Best Male Artist, Best Pop Album
1992 Painting studio Brooklyn, New York
1996 “Kiss and Hug” - Grammy awards: Best Album, Best Male Artist, Best Pop Album
2001 “1000 Soundless Pictures” (More info in Danish)
2003 “Save Me From This Rock’n Roll”
2004 Medics Without Borders (Read article in Danish)
2005 List of albums released from 2000-2005 in own name (More info in Danish)
2006 Painting studio, Koroni, Greece
2006 Receives Gentofte Municipality’s Cultural Awards (More info in Danish)
2007 Touring (More info)
2008 Amnesty International (Read article - in Danish)
2008 The Last Fashion Show (More info)
2009 DR opens the new Concert Hall (Watch live performance)
2009 Painting Studio, Berlin & DC, Lecture at Corcoran Washington DC (More info)
2010 Dekoration at TIVOLI / The Japanese Pagoda