Anything can evoke inspiration in me: an image, an unexpected colour or shape in an unexpected place, or something I have heard. Sometimes the idea for an artwork comes as a flash and it seems virtually ready, while sometimes life only gives me scarce hints to follow; in each case the working process might prove wrong the plans I made. Nevertheless, planning is important to me, whether it is about a painting, an installation or a piece of furniture. It’s like a map to a city: I need it to get there, but once I’m there, I might start following a curious little lane I never noticed before, or a cat perhaps.
The ‘Citizens’, a series of full figure portraits of ‘human buildings’, had its starting point in a one-line poem by Markus Koljonen, and old fellow student:
You are a house in the rooms of which you do not dare to go.
This beautiful and intriguing metaphor started to live in my mind as images that later become ‘Citizens’. The works required a long multi-step preparation phase. I first sketched freely, then studied books on architecture and started to develop the figures in order to combine features pertaining to a certain era in a recognisable and creative way.
These works have been interpreted in a number of ways. My own interpretation is just one among many and it has been enriched by those of other people. Thus, I do not want to influence too much on the viewer’s way to look at the paintings. However, what the architectural styles constitute is just the surface level. The series has mainly been catalysed by my personal relation with the structures known as our modern world. For me a building is also an image of human beings both metaphorically and at a more tangible level assuming a semblance of a living organism. The depiction of architecture has become an essential element of my visual language constituting a recurrent theme in my work.