I’ve been thinking about my feed on Instagram lately, because I was asked about my philosophy behind it. The answer to that is; there really isn’t one. It kind of grew organically out of the realisation that the light is best on my living room table and it’s one of the few areas where I can be consistent, and I know that doing the same thing repeatedly just works. Not just on IG, in having a coherent feed, but rather in life. Routine takes away a part of the work you have to put in thinking about it.
That said I do on some level think that my love of the works by swedish artist Einar Jolin plays into it. I’m not saying my feed is anything like his paintings (and I do “flatly”)but that they are works I admire and continue to be inspired by, especially his still lives.
The colour scheme is very much of the era he worked in but ,those greens that I love, and so are the items that figure in them although at this point asian items turns up here and there. But there is something happening in this pictures, these little vignettes as learned that they are called, that I can look at all day. And I do try to have nice things around me to look at. Sometimes they paint a bigger picture, sometime it’s just random items.
It must be mentioned that I also loves his portraits, the women he waited wears the most amazing outfits. And in a week with gloomy weather like we are having flipping through my favorite art books is a way to lift the spirits.
When it comes to the work of Gunnel Wåhlstrand I don’t really know where to begin. This picture doesn’t do it justice; it looks like a photo when in fact is a painting of a photo, which in real life is as tall as I am. When you go up close the details is incredible, I can only imagine the time that went into it.
Time is rather the point of the works I guess. Wåhlstrand lost her father early in life and has expressed the painstaking time reproducing photos of him as a way of spending time with him; then she started on the rest of the family. In the process of rendering these photographs so much bigger there is also an intimacy conveyed, with every brushstroke visible to see.
They are very emotional, even for someone who has no connections to her family; these photographs are the kind found in every old album. From before a time when a photo is taken in an instant with a phone, when it had a different kind of worth and function.
The exhibit that is currently at Magasin III in Stockholm was wonderful to see; as you can gather I’m a fan of her work. I’ve seen some before and I’m fascinated by them as well as soothed. There is something very comforting about them. They are not showy, they don’t aim to provoke but rather make you reflect. Their stillness invites contemplation and the slow pace of their production feels almost revolutionary in this day and age.
Before I came down with a cold I ticked of one of the boxes on the Stockholm social and cultural calendar: The Liljevalchs Spring Salon.
Liljevalchs is a Stockholm museum, nowadays run by the city itself, located at Djurgården. However as it is being renovated the show has used other venues; this year for the weeks of the salon they are located in a building that will be renovated soon. Last year it was the same thing but a different venue for the pop-up; that part I find rather endearing. It started when the Museum of Modern art was renovated a few years ago and they popped up a bit here and there meanwhile; they made the most of it and other museums have followed suit with some very interesting results.
The spring Salon is not a a curated artshow with a focus as such: anyone can, for a fee, submit an art work and if selected they will be on display and for sale at the Salon. This has been the case since 1921 although obviously the jury has changed, as has the scope of it.
According to Liljevalchs about 2500 people submitted works and different variations of painting(oil,watercolor etc.) is the biggest category of art. One can assume that it’s partly because of the everlasting popularity of paintings and because they are easily to submit and chances are high they get chosen(easy to hang on the walls if you know what I’m saying).
I guess I could write blog post about the jury alone, but they are undoubtedly well versed in the art of commercial success. The reson why I keep going back is because what ends up on those walls is a lackmus test of where we are as a society and where we are heading, if I want to phrase it pretentiously(which I do, of course. Like hello! Have we met?)
And let me tell me what it has come to. Someone used photos from real estate listings as motifs and painted them. Yes,I know, I had the same reaction. Even done ironically it’s pretty f**king sad. And then we haven’t even talked about the “the listings esthetic”. We are heading towards the apocalypse and people want to live in places that look like hell froze over. Scandinavian minimalism done without finess looks like a doctor’s waiting room, I’m very sorry but it’s true. And I realize that in part that’s just homestyling, it’s supposed to be a neutral space, but it does in fact look the same on Instagram and in a lot shelter mags. This is how we live now.
I was walking around the two floors that make up this years salon and it left me with a sense of emptiness. So many paintings were interiors void of people it scared me. But maybe that’s ,not the message really , but rather the aggregated subtext. The world right now is seen as threatening place and “bricks and mortar” have become very important(when in fact around the globe we are more secure and better off in many ways then we have ever been). Am I reading too much into the whole thing when I say that paintings with closed doors and lacking people is a symbol of the cold shoulder and people’s un-interest in the refugee crisis? Probably. But I’ll just let that line stay in the post anyways.
In conclusion; I was bored out of my mind. There were a few things that sparkled but in general the Salon this year was bland and about as arty as the pages of an IKEA catalogue albeit less colorful. Always interesting to see but not necessarily an art lovers delight. Luckily Marina Abramovic is heading for these shores so I might just be provoked in a good way soon.
So 2016 was finally over and it felt cathartic to butcher my wall calendar from Riflepaper&co. The intention was always to put it to use once it no longer served as a calendar. In fact the last months of the year it lounged in a drawer as there was nowhere to put it anymore.
Framing; This one was obvious. A fair few of the illustrations in this wonderful Alice in Wonderland-calendar were quite big and very easy to frame.I went with this one to begin with, and have saved a few for when I have more wall space and more frames. Could possibly also become gifts.
Notebooks;I love notebooks and have made a few during the last year. I’m no expert but they are nice enough. I learnt how to make these slim ones from a book but a quick search online will yield better tutorials then something I could ever manage. I prefer many slim notebooks to a few big ones; less weight in my bag and I get to change them often(I do use a lot of notebooks)
Cards; A few were an awkward layout so I cut out the nice bits and aim to use them for my correspondence. (I don’t really need more Alice in Wonderland cards but whatever).
Bookmarks; One sheet was turned into bookmarks, those will probably become gifts.
Who doesn’t want to get a Christmas gift that keeps on giving? Something to look at and provide inspiration?
A nice calendar to hang on the wall, helping with organization throughout the year, which can then be converted into art? I bought myself this Alice in Wonderland calendar last year and it has been a feast for the yeas. Rifle paper& Co makes all kind of drool worthy things(here).
If not stylish then charitable is an option when it comes to calendars. In the kitchen there has been a calendar with cute cats sold by the local shelter; all the proceeds go to their good work.
Silhouettes are super cool and timeless. This one is from a flea market which is a good place to look for them. Another option is to make them yourself. I did for Mothers day and it did take a couple of tries but I got it done. I used instructions similar to the ones you can find here
Everyone loves maps, I’m pretty sure of that. Again looking at flea markets and second hand book shops can be time well spent, something very original might turn up but a lot of high street stores carry nice ones. Getting it framed or mounted on foam board adds that extra touch because that’s the worst bit when it comes to decorating the walls.
However; “On the wall” doesn’t have to mean actual things to hang on the wall. Art books are a joy to have as they are often pleasing to the eye and informative. A membership in an art club or a museum is another way to provide eye-candy, and getting a membership for yourself so you and your friend(or partner) can go together makes it more special.