I started playing with unnatural colours schemes in 2018 when I stopped aiming for traditional realism. It has since then developed into a theme symbolizing a feeling of existence being out of order waiting for the apocalypse. The motives often show my daughters in settings where the human behavior is modified by our culture of distancing us from other life.
The start came sometime after I went with my family on an outing and I saw the kids looking awkward when standing looking at sheep grazing. The girls seemed not to come from this planet or having any natural relation to the settings around them. To them it was wild nature, but in reality it is all cultivated farmland. There isn’t much wilderness left in the south of sweden. We have converted the landscape into a factory in service of our needs.
I find that changing the natural colour scheme of the world makes it easier to see this estrangement. Or now that I think of it, maybe I just turned the natural world into something as alien as the creatures in it.
This has now led to a number of paintings and drawings on this theme. The first one was “Distance / Distans” 2018 from the outing mentioned above which is still one of my favourite paintings that I’ve done.
After that followed “Technicolor hug/ Technicolorkram” 2018 and Red Dawn (The generation that will save us)/ Röd gryning ( Generationen som kommer att rädda oss) 2018. I remeber struggling with getting the right shapes and proportions. Things that come much easier now.
It was interesting that the kids liked putting on headbands with animal ears or horns. We used to decorate ourselves with teeth and bones but that would be considered gross today. So now they buy plastic imitations of animal parts.
The artificial is always present. We create worlds in Lego and Minecraft almost omnipotent. In the real world we as individuals have less and less control.
There is a dissonance but also hope that one day they dare let go of their smart phones and meet the wild in reality as a part of it.
I started with the ambivalence towards nature then turned to the city briefly. I have only finished one so far. I’m don’t enjoy painting houses they are time consuming and I don’t achieve what i aim for.
In the next one I finally broke loose from the predictability of my smartphone image editing tools and used the colours I felt like. It was a warm evening and we are sitting in the sand facing east. It felt a bit like the end of the world.
Now the flavor of the apocalypse has become stronger and I’ll finish with some sketches that I hope to find time to paint. There are so many paintings to be made and by summarizing what has been painted so far I might find the clue to what to choose to do next.