I paint to keep myself insane.
I paint anxiety to be calm.
I paint war to have peace.
I paint sadness to be happy.
I paint the dark to be in the light.Ipaint death to be alive.
I paint a story so that I don’t have to tell a story.
Johan Wahlstom is one of
today’s brightest artists who is making a conscious effort to describe the
social political landscape of our contemporary world. The work is relevant on
many levels. His use of political iconography and brash painting style brings
to the fore a raw juxtaposition of issues facing everyday life. The use of
corporate media’s images and information gathered from various news outlets are
the underpinnings of his compositions. A narrative emerges that is a time
capsule of our society today. A sharp critique of fascism and authoritarianism
is a reoccurring theme throughout. In his current series, “House of Lies”
Wahlstrom depicts a world full of deception, ignorance and chaos. In some of his monochromatic paintings
streaks of black tears connect distorted faces, creating a chorus of
potentially suffering voices in a singular composition.
The titles of the work may be
ironic at times but the painting’s narratives strike a true emotional chord
with the politically engaged viewer.
Johan Wahlstrom was born in
1959 in Stockholm, Sweden, and is a fifth-generation artist on his mother’s
side. Though art was in his blood, his first creative direction was rock and
roll, where he had a successful and long career as a keyboardist and singer,
touring with Ian Hunter, Graham Parker, Mick Ronson and many Scandinavian
artists. After 18 years, the rock and roll life caught up with him. Wahlstrom
moved to a small village in France where he did nothing but paint for seven
years, part of that time under the tutelage of Swedish artist, Lennart Nystrom.
Wahlstrom’s dark narrative paintings of heads and torsos in acrylic and ink are
inspired by cryptic, often ironic social critiques that he collects on scraps
of paper in his studio.
Since 1999, Wahlstrom’s work
has been displayed in galleries across Europe and the US.
Forbes Magazine, USA
Art Versed, USA
Walls Street International Magazine, UK
Art Fuse, USA
Art Voices, USA
Miami Times, USA
Bedford & Bowery, USA
David Brolliet Collection, Switzerland
Eileen S Kaminsky Family Foundation, USA
Mana Contemporary Collection, USA
Fondazione Opera Campanda dei Caduti, Italy
Bell Of Peace Foundation,
Mattias Jonsson Family Collection, Marbella, Spain
Liza Marklund Family
Collection, Stockholm, Sweden
Mona Sahlin Collection,