My painting “Stigmata” was born because of a strange experience I had at a hospital in 2008. I was exhausted, burned out and stressed, working on 3 different art shows simultaneously – two of them were solo shows, all of them would open in February-March the following year (Stigmata would be the last painting I finished for the shows).
While I was working, working, working with my art – day and night AND dealing with a depression and a very messy and painful private life, my body simply said ‘nope, you can’t do this anymore’ and I collapsed. My body was covered with rash because of the stress, and I had to go through some serious examinations and treatments at the hospital. One of the doctors almost pierced my hand with her knife to get some deeper skin samples, it was very painful and I still have a scar where she made the cut.
I was inspired by this experience when I made Stigmata.
Another inspiration source when I was working on it was Ingmar Bergman’s “Cries and Whispers” (1972) and the dying woman [played by Harriet Andersson] in her little white nightcap. I made many more paintings and drawings like this during 2009-2010. I thought that by putting on the nightcap on the demons’ heads and remove their hair, they would look asexual or at least sexually ambiguous and ageless. My nightcap demons were raw human emotions expressed, like anxiety, pain and vulnerability.
Work in progress [with a blue costume instead of the white dress with blood].
Stigmata premiered in my solo show at MOHS Exhibit in Copenhagen, Denmark in March 2009 and the day of the opening it was on the cover of a big Danish newspaper, and the painting was sold in the show.
It is one of my favorite paintings I’ve ever done and I am planning on making another version of it later this year.