New Swedish art interview – roughly translated



– Who is Mia Makila? –

If Pippi Longstocking and Bergman ever had a love child – it would be me. I have that depth, seriousness and a delicate sensitivity in me. Maybe it’s my Finnish heritage. The melancholia. I also have a rebel in me – someone who goes against the mainstream ideas of things and who’s happily lifting a horse every now and then. The playfulness. The need for freedom. And the red hair of course. I am a melancholic and filthy Pippi. Old / young. I feel both antique in the heart where the painful wisdom is boiling, but I also have a child’s imagination. Both have humor. The dark humor is important to me. And to tell the truth and to be honest. It permeates everything I do. Even if the truth is a fuzzy concept.

– What scared you as a child? –

Shadows. I was terribly afraid of shadows when I was a little girl. I could not understand why a dark figure would insist on stalking me wherever I would go. When I was a little girl sitting in the back seat of our car, I pulled up the legs and screamed like hell because of the strange shadows on the back of the driver’s seat. In order to mitigate these experiences I had a security blanket – old nylon stockings with three holes in it, I sucked on it during car trips. It sounds more kinky than it was.

– Tell me about your art? –

I create mostly digital art, ie, photo manipulation and digital collages, using PhotoShop (and coffee), but I also paint in acrylic on canvas or wooden panels. I have no unified style, because I create both digitally and with brushes so it will be completely different expressions and techniques, but there is a a common theme throughout everything I create; strong and tough expression straight out of my mind, and from my burning and bleeding core.

I already knew when I was five years old that I would become an artist. I made a collage of half-naked ladies from perfume ads I cut out of the mother’s Femina and  embarrassed my parents by showing them to everyone. I have always liked to provoke and to see people’s reactions to what I have created. A small god complex, perhaps, or a way to be seen. Reaching out – and all the way to the core.

My art is referred to as ‘horror art’ or ‘lowbrow’. Sometimes ‘pop surrealism’. None of these genres is especially established here in Sweden, almost no gallery owner I have talked with in Sweden have known the term “pop surrealism”. Therefore, I am mostly active overseas, or I send my works to international exhibitions and is quite famous in these genres. I have built a huge network of artists all over the world. There, I feel welcome and like I am making sense. In Sweden, nobody gets what I’m doing. My cock-lolitas and anxiety demons are so non-swedish. They demand space, they are loud and creating scenes. “Fuck it! Here I come!”. It is liberating. But I think many people think I’m crazy, which is OK for me. Rather crazy than normal. For real.

– Can you share any plans for the future? – 

I’ve been gone a few years from the art. I was hit suddenly by a creativity crisis – which later became an identity crisis, depression and in the end resulted in a burnout. I just started painting again. And I will create an entirely new collection of work that I will be exhibiting in Sweden for a year or so. This time, both the Pippi Longstocking and Bergman raise their voices and I will be more of everything that people like with me. More of me and more craziness too.

Then I want to write. Books. And short stories. And all that would come out will come out. I am really looking forward to it.

More exhibitions abroad. Preferably several major group exhibitions. It feels fantastic to exhibit with the artists I  look up to!

– What a movie, book or art makes you tremble from fear? –

All religious scriptures. They are so full of prejudices, outdated ideas and really boring stories. Then they bring bigotry, war, shit and misery. No, I get depressed just thinking about it.

I am also really scared of illustrated medical books, I am such a hypochondriac.

– What makes you crawl into bed and hide under the covers? – 

When my dark past comes back for a little visit.

– Do you have any skeletons in the closet? –

No, I’ve cleaned out that closet in therapy. But I have old love letters, some latex face masks from old photo projects in my closet. And some vibrators course.

– The nastiest place you been to? –

My apartment during the five years I lived with an abuser.

– Favorite Monster? –

Mårran in Tove Jansson’s books. She’s fat like a great mountain. A snuggle-monster.


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