I have been looking back at my own private ‘art history’ as an artist, to see what my artistic voice has been throughout my career. I can see how my art has been influenced by my own life and the things I’ve gone through; pain, sorrow, love, sensuality, illnesses, anxiety, rage, trauma, spirituality and dreams. But I can also detect traces of other artists that has meant a lot to me and my creativity. These artists and their work have opened up my mind – inspired me try new things, to see new possibilities in my creativity and the way I choose to express myself through my paintings, drawings and digital art. Since I am self-taught, I learn by studying other artists and art history.
I remember my first real ‘art crush’ – that type of infatuation and passionate interest in an another artist – it was when I first saw the works of Frida Kahlo. I was 16 at the time. It was then I knew that I could use my inner world as an expression in my art. I started to paint self-portraits, inspired by her as a person and the surreal worlds in her paintings.
My love for Frida’s art was the starting point for my own true artistic expression. There has been so many art crushes since then; the Pre-Raphaelites, late gothic and early renaissance art (I even specialized in renaissance art in my academic studies), Swedish artists Ivar Arosenius, Sigrid Hjertén, Isaac Grünewald, Rita Lundqvist and Lena Cronqvist – the haunting portrait “The Mother” by Cronqvist (in the photo gallery below) is to be found at the art museum of my hometown – and it has been a big influence on the way I express my Lolita demons with their ‘core dolls’, just like in the painting I am working on right now. But also Picasso, Basquiat, Edvard Munch, Cindy Sherman, Magritte, Tamara de Lempicka, Goya, Ingmar Bergman and David Lynch.
When german artist Heiko Müller approached me in 2007 and invited me be part of the European lowbrow art movement (now called popsurrealism) and the annual “Don’t Wake Daddy” group show in Hamburg the same year, my artistic voice changed a lot. I was totally into horror art at the time – but the pastels and the ‘creepy-cute’ elements of popsurrealism was a big influence on my idea of horror and pain. It was like the missing link between the pain I was dealing with in my art – and the softness and humor I still kept alive inside. That’s when I started to grow as an artist – but also when I was dealing with the blockages and the self-doubts. Changing skin and growing can be a very long and painful process.
The first digital artworks I made, in 2007-2008 was very influenced by the music videos of Chris Cunningham and digital artist Aeron Alfrey.
A commercial video for Playstation, directed by Chris Cunningham
Here are some of the artworks and artists that has been the biggest influences on my artistic expression: