It was fun to make huge paintings in the middle of the night on subway cars, and the feeling of driving past my works the next day still has no equivalent. Adrenaline—the sensation of being fully awake—allows complete focus on an activity. I consider drawing and painting as a way to think, and the content in my work has for a long time been a vessel, a means to use colors, layers and shapes with total certainty in a narrative way.
An idea or a found image appears as a starting point but I never really know what happens after that. The mind speaks and sings, and all I want to do is compose, combining patterns, ornaments and objects in new relations. Mood or flow makes it possible for me to reach the content I want. It’s not mania so much as trance, a channeling. No expectations need be fulfilled, though I am constantly searching for beauty. Beauty is a hidden villa, abandoned for 100 years and accidently rediscovered. Beauty is a small pond in a forest, a canoe trip at four in the morning on a river in northern Sweden.
I cannot plan, and there are countless ways to reach a result. In Pinup III, for example, I used pure color pigments for the first time, pouring them on a board primed with a medium that makes them dry immediately on the surface. Before then, it took weeks to dry. The watercolor works are stretched on board with paper glue so that they can sustain litres of water without rippling. It is an amazing experience to wake up and see what has happened to a paper work overnight. Indian ink with a little shellac finish and pigment-heavy crayons have their own language.
My figurative elements are slowly fading into a rug of short stories fusing past and future. Sometimes a memory appears in bright detail, as when a friend tagged a mirrored surface only for that surface to open and reveal itself as a subway security room. He was yanked through. This happens.