Where do I belong?

bild-1104

Me at the opening of my debute solo show as a horror artist, 2007

For the first time ever, I’ve tried to define myself as an artist and my style in an artist statement for my new website. It’s really hard. What is my ambition as an artist? What drives me? What genre does my art belong to? I’ve gone through many styles throughout my career;  neo-victorian horror, lowbrow, gothic, popsurrealism and art brut. Perhaps it’s because I’ve gone through so many personal transformations as well. My styles vary a lot but I do see a theme running through all my works – balancing the raw and the delicate.

I feel at home in genres like primitive art, naÏve art, folk art and outsider art – with a twist of lowbrow.. But am I an outsider artist? I do feel like an outsider and I deal with traumas and primitive expressions in my art but an outsider artist lives completely outside society’s conventions and rules. Perhaps I’m too obedient to consider myself to be an outsider artist. But I could make my own art genre. Primitive expressionism? Outsider-lowbrow? It’s really hard. The word ‘outsider’ rings true to me because I’m also an outsider in the Swedish art community. I Googled ‘outsider art’ in my hometown and the word or concept doesn’t even exist here:

where

I feel like this could be my future mission – to create a place for myself and other artists like me – and people who belong to the outsider genre but doesn’t even know they are artists because they live in mental institutions or are isolated in some way. It would be a beautiful mission.

Primitive surrealism

I’ve made a fun journey through different styles in my art. I started out as a surrealist. I was 16 years old when I finished my first real painting – a surreal self portrait. Then, I moved on to explore expressionism, cubism, more surrealism and then some kind of  a primitive realism.

Works from the time before I found my true artistic voice [1995-2005]:

2016-06-06_13.36.42

It wasn’t until I suffered a deep depression in 2006 that I started using my creativity and my art as therapeutic expressions. I also joined the European Lowbrow movement – that later turned into Popsurrealism. It was in the “big eyes-large-head” mannerism of Popsurrealism that I eventually would lose myself and my artistic voice – and then get blocked and mentally paralyzed for almost 7 years. The cutesy stuff was bad for me, it’s just not who I am. I’m raw and direct both as a person and as an artist. I don’t sugarcoat things. I use a lot of humor in my art but it’s never cute.

My boyfriend, who’s really clever and very perceptive when it comes to me and my art, came up with a good description for the paintings I’ve done post hiatus: “primitive surrealism”. I like it. I’ve always felt at home in primitive art and in surrealism so I guess both genres have helped me develop my own style and visual expression. From now on, I’ll call myself a primitive surrealist. It’s perfect.

Painting styles post depression [2006-2016]:

IMG_20160606_130914

It’s interesting to see how many similarities but also how many differences there are between my physical artworks (paintings, drawings, collages) and my digital art. I have gone from chaotic compositions in both my physical and my digital art to simplicity and stillness, but in my paintings I’m so much more raw and colorful, whereas in my digital art I’m more cinematic and poetic – perhaps because I’m also writing poetry on my computer, perhaps there’s a connection there.

My digital art [2007-2016]:

IMG_20160606_131603