David Stenbeck’s artwork is available at Jenn Singer Gallery – jennsingergallery.com
© David Stenbeck courtesy of Jenn Singer Gallery
When did you start creating/what is your story as an artist?
I have worked in a literary practice since I was a young teenager. The base fundament was established in my most romantic youth, continuing a European poetic tradition, perhaps with a Scandinavian chill to it. Our lands are still pretty much covered with forest, and our gradients are grey. Sweden in the 80’s or 90’s, best be frank about it all, was like a Star Wars movie with the concept of space replaced by aesthetic socialism. In that taigan bitterness, something is born. A core of colorful grace.
What inspires your work?
Depends on what is meant by work. I have a couple of disciplines going on, one being research of language, another research of classical painting and sculpture, yet another is research of music. Without these, I would be lost. But yeah, maybe that’s not research, maybe that’s just me chilling.
Do you look up to any specific artist for creative guidance/inspiration?
Alexander Roslin, who happens to be from the same area as me, is one of the most brilliant artists through the ages, especially when it came to materiality, texture and oil-painted interpretations of dermatological complexity. Apparently there was a saying in 18th century Paris, when looking for portrait painters: ”Satin and skin? Ask Roslin”. But that doesn’t sound right, as the French pronunciation of -lin sounds different. I also like the geniuses of Foucault, Pasolini and Genet. All of them beautiful, queer gods to me, disqualifying the plastic qualities of (each of their) modern social concepts.
Tell us about your creative process
Look, I work with contemporary criticism. All my work move in that direction, like an intellectual doppler effect scanning for what is what.
What would you consider your biggest accomplishment so far?
My daughter Lo.
Your designs are quite provocative and edgy. Is there a message you are trying to convey?
It’s that pop-baroc style of mine. A Swedish architect once called it neon-classical. The message is clear: reformation. And I really mean it. There must be a thick reformation. Mass transformation. A real turn. I’m very honest.
If you could pick any artist to collaborate with, who would that be?
I would sit with Roslin while painting blessed Gustavus III, our eternal king, and have him not be so timid with the pearls.
What would you change in the current art industry?
There should be lesser monopolism in the commercial social media platform structure, as these are now driving much of the digital art industry forward, but on their own terms. I hope and believe we will start seeing them paying their premium users, rather than the opposite, be it through ads or not.
What is the future looking like to you?