Briefly describe the work you do.
My paintings depicts everyday events and places, often with a dark undertone. I like the questions:
-What has happened before and what will happen after?
There is often a feeling of threat present in my paintings and there are always traces of human activity, even if the people themselves are not always visible. My paintings have in recent years increasingly come to consist of several panels combined into one unit, the outer forms have become almost sculptural. The irregular shape reinforces the impression that it is only a part of the story we see. What happens beyond the painting’s edge.
Tell us about your background and how that has had an influence on your work and on you as an artist.
I grew up in a family where artistic creation was encouraged. My choice of profession did never encountered any obstacles from my family, which I otherwise think is quite common.
I get a lot of inspiration for my paintings from my background. My pictures are always about things that interest me, so my art is influenced much of who I am and who I have been.
The concept of the artist studio has a broad range of meanings in contemporary practice. Artists may spend much of their time in the actual studio, or they may spend very little time in it. Tell us about your individual studio practice and how it differs from or is the same as traditional notions of “being in the studio.”
I always spent as much time as possible in my studio. It is a place where I can concentrate on nothing but my work and just do what I as an artist likes most, try to find the best solution for the painting I´m working on at the moment. I am a slow painter and my paintings usually takes several months to complete and changes many times before they are done, both in terms of color, composition and content. I always have several paintings standing by the walls of my studio, in different stages. I always listen to music when I paint and I think that the choice of music to some degree influence how the end results looks like.
What roles do you find yourself playing that you may not have envisioned yourself in when you first started making art?
I say as I think many others do.
-It is not enough to make your art, one must also tell the world that you do it.
It is a task that you might not think of much in the beginning (and perhaps not so much later, either.)
When do you find is the best time to make art? Do you set aside a specific time everyday or do you have to work whenever time allows?
I probably work best in the mornings. Then I think most clearly. But in reality, I work in my studio at all times. I always try to take advantage of the time that is available.
How has your work changed in the past five years? How is it the same?
It is often difficult to see a change in what you do when you work, but for each new painting there will be a small change in one direction or the other. And if you look in the long term, it has obviously happened a lot. If I compare what I do now with how it looked five years ago, the paintings has often become larger in size and my colors have become more varied. The content of the picture has become more complex and I let more things happen in the paintings in terms of both color and content. Even the way to add the color has changed a bit, my painting is much “looser” now.
How have people such as family, friends, writers, philosophers, other artists or even pop icons had an impact on the work you do?
Books, movies and music often influence my paintings. I hear something, see something, and comment on it in a painting. The value of a soundtrack should also not be underestimated. When I worked for a major exhibition that I had last year, I listened only to the Beatles in my studio. In 18 months I did not listen to anything else, I bought a new album every month and I definitely think the choice of music colored the paintings that were made.
Have you ever been pulled in the direction of a pursuit other than being an artist? What are your other interests?
Wild birds is one of my big interests. But I am totally uninterested in bird paintings, there are in my opinion much more interesting things to paint. Birds do best in reality.
Jesper Blader was born in Solna outside Stockholm but raised and living in Örebro. He is a painter and works with oil paint on MDF board. He has had many exhibitions around Sweden and also exhibited in Denmark and Lithuania.
All images copyright of the artist and used with their permission.