Shot by Fredrik Skogkvist
—I would never have become an artist if I wasn’t a lawyer before. Imagination is delicate. As an artist you are alone a lot, and your work is supposed to serve beauty, but your head is full of doubt. When it’s dark, imagination is a fire you have to keep burning, and you need a lot of wood for that. I collected wood all my long years practicing law.
—I went to law school because I was a good student. Working life disappointed me though; law careers are not like television shows. It's mostly boring and there is no money for most lawyers. I had interesting cases, but I am too spiritual to live on lies. At the age of 35, I attended a painting session at the atelier of a young painter. Working on a large scale canvas, he taught me how to craft wood frames, treat the canvas, reduce distances, catch time, master colours and shepherd them through my body to my hands, and become something I never knew I was. When I walked out of the atelier, I knew that I was somebody different from the one that had walked in.
—In 2022 I was in Sicily painting a mural for a church. I was approached by a mafioso who practically forced me to follow him to do a portrait of his father, a local mafia boss, dead of covid. I was asked to portrait the dead man on the main wall of a garage nearby. My role was almost like that of a shaman. After about six hours I knew that the spirit of the dead was on the wall. I turned around and noticed that about twenty locals had brought chairs and had been watching me the whole time. The son of the deceased man hugged me, crying. That night I understood the deep meaning of art. It’s an absolute space, where you shine among all the other souls, like a little magnificent and personal sun.
“I have never been to Castiglioncello before. Reading into its history, film industry people had summer houses here in the Fellini heydays. I was blown away by the hidden gem feeling of the place. It’s just so unique to be here right before it all happens. Right before the storm of people and everything.”—FS