A year ago, we were invited to Sten Backman’s dinner party, and saw a huge painting that he was working on. We remarked on how interestingly dark and monstrous it was. He liked painting what looked like skeleton figures as well as digitally illustrated deformed porttraits.
So you can imagine how happy we were to hear about his exhibit this year! We were invited to his vernissage this late february.
The exhibit is called “The Bicameral Mind”. Sten Backman explains that his paintings never start with a plan or idea. He simply lets the subconscious take over. And lo, monsters come!
The vernissage took place at Galleri Erik Axl Sund in Stockholm. The gallery has two floors. On the ground floor was where Sten’s black and gray paintings were shown.
In the basement, musicians Mikael Strömberg, Jan Liljekvist and Mikael Grahn played cool digital, experimental music. One number I especially remember was that with a reading of an old Chinese poem.
Jan Liljekvist is a sound techician at Östasiatiska museet, specifically Bergrummet, an underground shelter built for the marines in the 1940’s – it was transformed into a museum in 2010. Alas, Bergrummet is closing down. We were lucky to have seen its last exhibit, “Sidenvägen”.
Mikael Grahn is a comic strip artist, especially active in the 1980’s. Jan Liljekvist and Mikael Grahn are good friends of Sten Backman, so we were in good company.
Regarding the gallery: Erik Axl Sund is the pen name of two distinguished authors Jerker Eriksson and Håkan Axlander Sundquist who wrote the Victoria Bergman trilogy. Their books are translated into 40 languages. The authors own the art gallery.
I know Jerker Eriksson since the time he worked as a prison librarian. More about the authors in my blog: “Erik Axl Sund – crime writers and art lovers”.