Martin Jacobson


Artist’s Statement

My artistic process often starts on the scrapheap of art history. I collect postcards, catalogues, illustrated newspapers, photographs, schoolbooks and children’s books and I look for archetypal motifs and themes, such as the sunset, the moonlight, the road, the mountain, the water and the sky. Motifs that somehow reflect collective dreams, or in other words myths. Images with a potential to describe the fundamental conditions of our existence. 

To me, this is a kind of recovery of the collective subconscious’ sunken treasures. Most images come from the later half of the 19th century - Modernism’s childhood. A time that dreamt of us much like we dream of our future. 

My primary medium is painting. Painterly representation is to me a kind of naming the unnameable, the purpose of which is to create something that appears to have a consciousness of its own. To give an abstract experience a concrete form.

The found images serve as originals for the paintings, sometimes as they are, sometimes manipulated. The interpretation of the originals aims to create an image that is new and old, strange and familiar. A kind of mending of the rift created by time between the found image and the present.

I plan the work so that the result is hard to predict. During the process I try to be as open and perceptive to the painting’s voice as possible. Looking at the finished result, the painting often feels like something found rather than made. Through painting I come closer to knowledge that lies beyond my experience. I push myself over my own threshold. 

My recent work deals mainly with the landscape and our relation to nature and the idea of “the natural”. I have focused on light, shadows and colours, the shifting and intangible clothes of the material world. To me my images are like actors in an allegorical play that I know nothing about. The story unfolds as I create it.

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