Þorvaldur Þorsteinsson was born on November 7, 1960, in Akureyri. He studied at the Akureyri School of Visual Arts from 1977 –1981, graduated from The Icelandic College of Arts and Crafts, Reykjavik in 1987 and completed a Masters degree from Jan van Eyck Academy in Maastricht, Holland in 1989. In 1981-1982 he studied at the Faculty of Humanities in The University of Iceland. Þorvaldur worked evenly as an artist and a writer. He opened over 40 solo exhibitions and participated in numerous international exhibitions and artistic events, projects and performances all over the world. Þorvaldur was also a lecturer who taught and ran courses in various locations, such as The Icelandic College of Arts and Crafts, California Institude for the Arts in Valencia in the United States, the ArtCenter in Los Angeles and Aki in Enschede in Holland. His art has been bought by museums and collectors both in Iceland and internationally, and his books have been collected by Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris and Victoria and Albert Museum in London.
Þorvaldur wrote several plays for stage, radio and television. Among them are the so called micro-plays, regularly broadcast in Vasaleikhúsið (Pocket-theatre) of The Icelandic National Broadcasting Service in 1991-1992. The play Við feðgarnir (Me and My boy) was staged by Hafnarfjörður-theatre, Hermóður and Háðvör in 1998. His books on the little creature, Betterby, are popular with children and adults in Iceland and Þorvaldur received the Reykjavík Scholastic Award for the first one, Ég heiti Blíðfinnur en þú mátt kalla mig Bóbó (My Name is Betterby, but You Can Call Me Bobo). The Betterby books have been translated to several languages, but the final volume, Blíðfinnur og svörtu tengingarnir: Lokaorustan (Betterby and the Black Dice: The Final Battle) was published in 2004. Harpa Arnardóttir's stage adaptation of the first book was one of two plays by Þorvaldur staged at the Reykjavík City Theatre during the season of 2001-2002. The other one was And Björk of course... A stage adaptation of his first book for children, Skilaboðaskjóðan (The Message Pouch), premiered at The National Theatre in 1993. Þorvaldur's first novel for adults, Við fótskör meistarans (Gentleman's Tale), was published in 2001.
Þorvaldur Þorsteinsson died on February 23rd 2013.
Author photo: The Reykjavík Museum of Photography.