Ari Mikael Behn (pronounced [ˈɑ̀ːrɪ ˈbeːn]) (né Bjørshol (pronounced [ˈbjø̀ːʂhuːl] or [ˈbjø̀ːʁshuːl]); 30 September 1972 – 25 December 2019) was a Norwegian author, playwright, and visual artist.
Known as Mikael Bjørshol until 1996, Behn achieved early literary success with his 1999 short stories collection Trist som faen ("Sad as hell"), which sold about 100,000 copies. Following his marriage, he wrote three novels, three plays and a book about his wedding, and took part in other creative and artistic endeavours such as the design of a china set named "Peacock". In the 2000s and 2010s his public activity and art were met with mixed reactions in Norway, and Behn acknowledged that many people regarded him as a "fool". From 2013 until his death he was active as a visual artist, painting in a neo-expressionist tradition inspired by Jean-Michel Basquiat. Behn's artwork, described as "highly narrative", was widely exhibited internationally in 2017–18.From 2002 to 2017 he was married to Princess Märtha Louise, the elder child of King Harald V. Behn held no title or special status during the marriage, and remained a private citizen.
He is also known as Ari Mikael Bjørshol and Ari Mikael Behn.
Behn died at his home in Lommedalen on 25 December 2019. A statement from his family said Behn had died by suicide. He had struggled with alcoholism and mental health problems. In a 2009 interview he said he was chronically depressed and lonely.
The swift public announcement by the Norwegian royal family following his death was noted as unusually open and forthright; King Harald, Queen Sonja, and other members of his former wife's family as well as his own family expressed their sorrow at his passing in statements released to the public. His funeral was held at Oslo Cathedral on 3 January 2020.
Ari Behn's publisher said that Behn left behind a completed script for a children's book which he has written with his eldest daughter Maud Angelica. It is uncertain whether the book will be published.