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sabato 5 settembre 2009

Interview with Karl Grandin

q)Please introduce yourself.

a)My name is Karl Grandin and I was born in Sweden on Christmas Day 1976. After working as the art director for the influential Swedish music magazine Pop for two years I joined forces with a fellow artist in Stockholm and founded the graphic design unit Vår. I studied at the Sandberg Institute in Amsterdam between 2004 and 2006 and today I divide my time between freelance work and autonomous projects. At the moment I am creating imagery for Cheap Monday's new independent eyewear line Clairvoyant, working on series of 7-inch record sleeve for the Swedish underground record label Du & Jag and preparing work for upcoming exhibitions.

q) Where do you live and work?

a)Since a few years, after some time Japan, the US and the Netherlands, I'm back in Stockholm, Sweden. I'm sharing a two-floor studio with some friends in the north side of town.

q) How would you describe your work to someone who has never seen it?

a)I work in a wide range of media, like print design, textile, painting, installation and animation, but drawing is always a fundamental part of it. I enjoy working with tactile things. That's why I more often end up working with books, posters, installations and clothes than with digtal stuff. My way of perceiving and depicting society and what is going on around me is by creating worlds of my own. I use familiar elements and concepts, detach them from their sources and put them back together in new combinations. From these combinations of fragments, environments with a new sense and a redefined, often dreamlike logic take form. It is not necessarily about simplifying, but rather the opposite, making it more layered to arouse curiosity and encourage the viewer to examine more closely. It is a cut-and-paste of ideas as well as images, bringing together high, pop and sub culture.

q) How did you start in the arts? How/when did you realize you were an artist?

a)Drawing has been a central part of my life since I was a kid. When I was still in school I developed an interest in graphics and typography. I started working for a small graphic design studio in Stockholm and had the chance to work on books, magazines, record sleeves and posters. After a few years, the company expanded, growing from three people when I first joined to about ten, and it felt more and more like an ad agency. This was the perfect time for me to quit and concentrate on doing my own thing.

q) What are your favorite art materials and why?

a)Pen and paper. Although I work in a wide variety of media I always begin with a pen on paper. For me, it's the best way to render thoughts.

q) What/who influences you most?

a)The full moon.

a)q) Do you have goals, specific things you want to achieve with your art or in your career as an artist?

a)They keep changing.

q) What contemporary artists or developments in art interest you?

a)Art that defies definition, between or beyond what we used to call graphic design, painting, fashion, applied art, installation, etc.

q) How long does it typically take you to finish a piece?

a)It ranges from about a minute to eternity.

q) Do you enjoy selling your pieces, or are you emotionally attached to them?

a)I do enjoy selling my pieces but it is often just beacuse of my emotional attachment to them, I like them to being put to use and get lives of their own.

q) Is music important to you? If so, what are some things you're listening to now?

a)Music is a very important part of my working process. Some of the music that has influenced my work lately is Torkel Rasmusson, Alchemist, Fever Ray and Audionom.

q) Books?

a)The last few months I've been reading books by the Swedish author, leftist-political writer and columnist Jan Myrdal.

q) Any advice for aspiring artists?

a)Listen to people but trust your own imagination.

q) What do you do (or what do you enjoy doing) when you're not creating?

a)Biking, drinking green wine and enjoying rooftop views.

q) Do you have any projects or shows coming up that you are particularly excited about?

a)At the moment I'm working on a collaborative project with the Dutch artists And Beyond for a show called 'If You Could Collaborate', opening on January 14th 2010 at the A Foundation Gallery in east London. I am also planning to open up a small pizza parlor in my neighbourhood together with some frieds and make my own shochu moonshine.

q) Do you follow contemporary art scenes? If so, how? What websites, magazines, galleries do you prefer?

a)Right now, the most interesting gallery in Stockholm is SteinslandBerliner,http://steinslandberliner.blogspot.com/

q) Where can we see more of your work online?




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