Happy Women’s Day!

What a week! As you all could see here on the site, the week started out with my big artist comeback and ended with the International Women’s Day! So much GIRL POWER! I made this video for all my sisters out there – but the message is for everyone!

We are women, ladies & girls.
We are not objects.
We are not trophies.
We are not here to please you.
We exist on our own terms.
We own our bodies.
We own our stories.
Happy Women’s Day!

The bald and the beautiful

What a strange night. The church bells kept ringing for an hour. In the morning, I woke up to rain and feeling slightly off. But I’m working again, painting on ‘The Wound’. and coming up with new ideas for more paintings. It’s funny, every time I add hair to my characters, it ruins the whole expression. I can’t do hair for some reason. I ended yesterday’s work with making the character bald and I felt better about it.

Some of my baldies:

And characters with hair:

I’ve been losing a lot of hair this year, due to stress, and it is one of my biggest nightmares to become bald and completely hairless. I love my hair, it makes me feel feminine and beautiful. A lot of my sexuality is in my hair, I don’t know how to explain it.

Perhaps the core expressions – embodied in my demons, have to be as bald as they are bold because they are not about gender, identity or beauty. They are human, deeply intimate – channeling our inner child and spirit and who we are at the core. Something that is real and raw and connects us all. Hair is a superficial part of the human body – I go deeper than that. My demons even lack skin. So to put a fancy hairdo on top of their heads is like decorating a Christmas tree, it takes away from what they want to say. What I want to say. What the core has to say.

A quest to find a new place in the art world

Exciting inner creative processes are in motion. I know what I want to accomplish next in my art career – with a future art show and it’s gonna be different from anything I’ve done before. Less shocking perhaps but more personal and poetic. It is so god damn hard to let go of my old career because it was everything I had ever dreamed about, but at the same time I couldn’t take the pressure that came with it – and it was killing my creativity. And when you think about it, it’s not a difficult choice; to choose creativity over past achievements. It’s not about looking backwards anyway – and what really kills creativity is any form of comparison, even if the comparison is to your own past achievements.

My art in the “UPSET” art book of contemporary lowbrow artists, 2010

I need a clean slate, a fresh start and a new place in the art world. I’m letting go of my old artistic position as part of a movement or style – I am my own genre and I am flexible in both expression and style.  It was very tempting and very flattering to be part of the lowbrow art movement and the pop-surrealist community, because I’ve never felt at home anywhere, socially. It was like I found my people, but at the same time it was holding me back and I started to adjust my style and the motifs to fit the movement or the group shows. I won’t do that again. I’m ok with being an outsider or at least not part of any group. The struggle will be harder when I walk alone but without compromising my artistic integrity and my genuine expression.

Although I am very proud to be one of the pioneers of the digital art movement – what I like to call “the digi wave”. I have many friends and colleagues surfing the digi wave in the art world.  Their digital techniques and expressions vary a lot. Here are some of them;

Sonya Fu

inner_child_by_sonya_fu

Aeron Alfrey

24219991991_80c88ee9d0_o

Casajordi Bousquet

4ae045de84e2084b1118ebcef226692d

Alexander Jansson

alexander-jansson-17

Artistic regret

IMG_20160708_190242

I had to make a difficult decision this week. My internship at the gallery wasn’t working out as I’d expected, so I had to leave that opportunity behind. I don’t know what will happen to my financial situation and there’s a lot of things up in the air right now, it makes me feel stressed, but everything will be fine in the end. I just know it. And for the first time ever,  I trust my instincts and my gut feeling without second guessing it. It’s an important progress. Since I’ll have more time to myself now, I’ll be focusing more on my painting.

My latest digital piece – The Bones of Rape is a step closer to the expression of my paintings. It’s always been a clear distinction between my digital art and my physical works, but I sense a future emerging of the two. It excites me. I’m so much raw and direct in my artistic expression now than just a few years ago. You can see the artistic evolution in the three works below (of characters in the same position):

When I look back on my career and evaluate the work I’ve done so far, I can see how it was a mistake to let go of the horror genre in 2012 to join the Popsurrealists. I regret the big-eyes-large-head mannerism because it’s a style rather than a true artistic expression. I am not interested in a cute style – I am looking for something more authentic and real, like a core expression. I don’t see myself as a cute person or as an artist focused solely on the balance of innocence and light horror, but an artist who’s digging in her own dirt to find raw beauty buried underneath. I’m exploring vulnerability, primitive emotions and what trauma looks like when it’s exposed in the light instead of being stuck in the dark. My work is part of my personal healing and my creativity is a tool in my trauma recovery – and it would be a crime for me as an artist to be cute about serious matters like that. I often use humor in my work, to deal with heavy topics because too much of the dark expression and it gets lost in the darkness, the viewer must be able to breathe and have an element of escaping the heaviness – but it’s not appropriate to be cute about it. The cutesy stuff makes the core expression look insecure. Why not go all the way? Why hold back? I love Popsurrealism but it’s not the home for bold artistic expressions as much as it’s the home for “horror light” – which is fine if you don’t want to dig into the rawness of the mind and soul. Then you have to step beyond the boundaries of the “creepy-cute” and prepare yourself to find some pretty disturbing artistic expressions. And that’s where I feel at home and yet on terribly unknown territory. I love that feeling.

One of my horror collages  “Mystery of Death” and one of my Popsurrealistic digital pieces “Happy Day”:

The Mystery of Death

The Mystery of Death, 2006

Happy Day

Happy Day, 2012