"I don't want to explain any these references -- a word,
a name or a quotation -- which mark my work.
Even if the reader does not know exactly why I wrote that,
it won't stop them searching for a connection,
interrogating themselves.
I like that people draw their own conclusions."

Viggo Mortensen



For me the background of the creative process is an important part of the work itself, that's why I am a "Making Of-s" buff. Investigating is my own way of admiration, and to follow Viggo on his artistic paths has always been an interesting journey. If you are like me, I hope you will enjoy this site.



It is not as you probably think: I didn't fall for Aragorn while watching The Fellowship of the Ring in Dec. 2001. I fell for the photograph Te Anau 2 more than a year later, while watching the documentaries included in the movie's Extended Version DVD. What the cast and staff members said about Viggo Mortensen, made me curious, but the ignition came from this one photo. I just had to know more! I started a little research on internet and -- as many others -- the more I got to know, the more fascinated I was. It was a quite long process though, and it's climax took place at the Epemeris Exhibition in Odense in Aug. 2003. It radically changed my view on photography as art. It also proved that Viggo Mortensen is not only an actor taking pictures for fun (and to bust his ego), but an artist with enormous sensibility and intelligence. 

Since then he never stopped surprising me.

Sometimes, to look at his photographs without knowing their background, is like watching Forrest Gump without knowing American history -- you can still enjoy it, but the true richness and deeper layers remain unseen. Looking for backgrounds in Viggo's case is challenging, because his interests seem to have no limits. He uses not only languages he speaks fluently, and the cultural heritage of Denmark, Argentina and USA -- he also tries to explore the places he is visiting, either as an actor while making movies, or as a restles and open minded traveller.



There are dozens of websites dedicated to Viggo Mortensen already. Why making another one? Mostly because none of them concentrates on the artistic side of him. There are pieces of information spread across the net, buried in interviews, articles and discussions. As I started to search for those scatterings, I thought I could as good share them with others. I am very impressed by Viggo Mortensen's photography and want to concentrate on it. My goal is to have a kind of catalogue of (as many as possible) photographs with additional informations and comments, full exhibitions and book listings and a glossary of names. I'd like to link (or post) reports from the exhibitions as well.  But sometimes it is impossible to separate photography from Viggo's other artistic activities, and that's why I will not exclude paintings, poems, nor his music if there is something interesting to say about them.



 I could try to refer to The Fair Use Clause, but I know that Viggo Mortensen doesn't approve using his pictures in the internet and I want to respect his wishes. This site should stay a source for information about his art and not for the art itself. I only used some details of his pictures where words were not enough. On the other hand, if you know whom to ask, or can help me in obtaining a permission -- I will appreciate your help.



Element of Surprise is a non-profit fan site. Its entire content is my sole creation, concept and responsibility, unless otherwise attributed.

This site is unofficial and neither endorsed by Viggo Mortensen, nor connected with him in any way.

I don't have any insider knowledge about Mr. Mortensen's art -- all contents of this site are either based on media information, hearsay, personal experience or speculations, and therefore shouldn't be considered as granted facts. Nor should they be taken too seriously.

The personal reviews in this website should be considered copyrighted.

In this project beside article fragments I also quote comments from different message boards / forums refering to the Fair Use Clause. I didn't asked everyone for permission for using their words, (some of the forums were gone before I was able to ask). I hope very much that nobody minds their comments used on this site. Otherwise, please let me know and I will delete the entry in question.

Element of Surprise accepts no responsibility for the content on external sites linked from this page.


I've always hated paparazzi and media violating privacy of stars (and any other people as well). But not being interested in the world of celebrities I was never really concerned. As soon as I became an admirer of Viggo the issue became personal. I get quite upset every time I see that he (or any other "public" person) was followed by some vulture with a camera. I know I sound pathetic, but at the moment it is the only thing I can do. Read more