Painting of today
I make a painting of today. Above all, my paintings depict places, people, and mental connections. Such as interpersonal tensions. Also, the relationship between an individual and a collective influences the motifs. Likewise, the link between the mental and the physical world.
The motifs are symbols of personal observations. For example, vague links between world events and my own experiences. Another key point I return to is questions about how emotions play a role in social contexts. Also, I often suggest an unspoken story in the painting. Together with a sense of a lurking undefined threat that contrasts the familiar.
All in all, the paintings represent encounters or the lack thereof. Also, the idea of meetings is a part of how I paint. In general, I often paint different parts that contrast with each other. Furthermore, I add elements of representation in a spatial depth. At the same time, I want viewers to read some of these elements as being on top of the painting.
In summary, my work is about gaps and connections. Especially, between appearance and the real. Likewise, in the union between thought, language, and reality. For the most part, I explore how emotions and a driving force affect social change.
Painting of contemporary society
I see my work as a painting of contemporary society. In fact, In recent years I have painted dystopian scenes with people in an introverted state. Although these people are together, they are also alone. Particularly, these works relate to my preoccupation with fear, in this age of anxiety. Not only does fear affect how we live our everyday lives and how we interact with each other. But also, according to me, does it, by extension, affect political outcomes.
In fact, I imagine that technological developments, globalization, and immigration create insecurities. Hence, more and more people experience an unjustified and undefined fear. And, this fear breeds a desire to protect the social status and status quo.
Whenever we try to categorize this vague sense of a threat, I imagine that it’s easy to fall into a cynical attitude. For this reason, I believe that right-wing populists get more and more votes. Because they give the threat an identity. What’s more, the desire to maintain and protect our lifestyle contributes to climate change in the long run.
When I work with these subjects, I start with myself and the culture I live in. In summary, I try to make sense of incomprehensible tendencies in contemporary life. When I do this, I see myself as a quasi-psychoanalyst with society and myself on the couch.
My enthusiasm for how appearance contrasts with the real stems from my years of study. Namely, at Beaux-Arts de Paris. In brief, there I felt that I was a part of society. At the same time, I felt I was not. With the result that I started playing with thoughts about social constructs. Such as norms and hierarchies. Similarly, I struggled with the fact that art lacks adequate and necessary conditions.
During this time, I also started contemplating separated concepts that create each other. For example, the symbiotic relationships between thought, language, and reality. Not to mention the connection between the individual and the collective.
For me, it’s important that the painting has a reason to be painting. Instead of being a language-based, conceptual artwork. Thus, they depict mental concepts, stuck in a limbo between language and reality.
My interest in fears has its origin in my struggle with social anxiety. Thus, I have experienced tensions in meeting with other people. Also, I’m wondering whether there are natural driving forces that affect social change. As a result, I work on the idea that fear, by extension, affects political development. But the theme of fear is something I see as a temporary subcategory of my work.
Fear became a topic for my work only when I felt afraid of certain political and global changes. For one thing my fear of the ongoing, man-made, ecological catastrophe has grown over the years. Also, political parties with a connection to fascist ideology frighten me.
As ultranationalist parties grew in the late 2010s, my political commitment grew. Firstly, these parties point out a group that would threaten national identity. Secondly, they silence independent media. Thirdly, they distance themselves from research on climate change. And finally, they want to recreate some historical period with conservative ideals.
The theme of consciousness in relation to politics has been a part of my work for a long time. But, as my political involvement grew, my paintings shifted focus. Earlier, my work had awareness relative to the outside world as a starting point. Later, my work has had the individual’s relationship to the collective as a starting point. In other words, I make art about social perception.
As I have said, I am interested in connections between the personal and the political. Also, I feel a political commitment to people in vulnerable positions. But I do not want to bring anyone else’s action. On one hand, I distance myself from identity politics. In other words, I don’t believe that a group of people can share a common identity. For example, I don’t believe that all white men in a Christian culture fully share a common cultural heritage. Although these people may have some common experiences. On the other hand, I would see it as exploitation if I would try to represent the suffering of another.
Instead, I focus on exploring elusive social structures related to unequal distribution of power. That is, I am interested in patterns in social relationships. And, how individuals’ actions can become a collective action, like a traffic jam. Also, I do not believe in the ability of art to create direct political change. That is, there are more effective ways to create change than to create art. At the same time, political events influence my work. Even though I do not see my painting as political art, I believe in the ability of art to emancipate a spectator and create conversation.
Painting in the digital age
The work with a painting usually starts with me making a sketch in Photoshop. Either I use a projector to sketch the painting on the canvas or I paint directly from a sketch. Then I build up the painting from the back to the front, layer by layer. Even though I plan each painting carefully, the process quickly takes over. Finally, planned parts, accidents, coincidences, revaluations, and experiments make up the finished result.
I base the paintings on images from my sketches and 3D models, the Internet, news media and photo albums.
One of infinite perceptions
The goal is to communicate my understanding of how I understand the ever-changing now. Together with all the other perspectives of the world, I wish to contribute to a whole. That is an infinite field or an even space with no significant or basic division. Finally, I make mental quagmires with no clear instruction on how to think or act. Instead, I hope that a painting of mine can make the mind wander.
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