They call this “art” and sell it

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Ylva Skarp “art” lightboxes by IKEA. Screendump from image at livethemma.ikea.se

IKEA just announced these lightboxes with “art” by Ylva Skarp on a foil attached to the lightboxes. Price SEK 1295/approximately USD 145. The product is called FLOALT. Ylva Skarp and her images are popular in certain interior design circles and you often find her images in featured interiors. 

Personally I don’t call this “art” or “calligraphy” which some do. Personally I would never pay SEK 1295 to IKEA for a lightbox with her images. Would you? I’ve always found her imagery overrated.

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Images and “art” by Karolina Palmer. Screenshot from Leva&Bo.

The above “art”-images are sold via Leva & Bo, a magazine from one of Swedens daily newspapers. They are posters and art-cards and even pillow-cases. They are created by Karolina Palmer. Apparently they are very popular? I fail to understand why… How can images like these be called “art”? They look like something your child (or your friends child) would have created. And mass-produced to sell via the magazine. I would never pay for them. Nor would I ever put them on my walls at home.

Of course taste differs between different people, but some things that are sold as art, really shouldn’t be called art…. In my opinion.

I actually love art and am a real image-nerd, but these ones? No, thanks.

Kolingsborg, Slussen, Stockholm – soon gone

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Kolingsborg, Slussen. Image from the Internet.

There is this round building in the middle of the traffic system at Slussen, Stockholm, called Kolingsborg. Kolingsborg was built 1953–54, from drawings by architect Arthur von Schmalensee. The building had to begin with offices for the port authorities of Stockholm. The building has also been housing a nightclub, architect offices, and the Bobbadilla club.

The building was shut down in December 2013. More about Kolingsborg can be found on this Swedish Wikipedia page where I’ve borrowed some of the pictures. That page is in Swedish.

The location is close to the Old Town, overlooking it and with a view out to the sea. Trains and the subway passing through Stockholm, pass under it.

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Slussen traffic system. “Slussen modell 1930-tal” av Okänd – Stockholms stadsmuseum. Licensierad under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/

The building has murals inside picturing the work of port workers. Those have been hidden under boards during the years the building was offices and nightclub.

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Kolingsborg murals. “Kolingsborg interiör sept 2015c” av Holger.Ellgaard – Eget arbete. Licensierad under CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/
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Kolingsborg murals. Picture from the Wikipedia page.

After the building was closed it was at first painted all white.

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White Kolingsborg. Picture from the Wikipedia page on the internet.

It was then turned into an art project. It has during the summer been painted by nine invited graffiti artists. The art project is being finished today September 27th 2015. Watch a YouTube film about the art project here.

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Kolingsborg from above. Photo: Henrik Jensen

I grew up in the neighborhood and have seen this building most of my life. Passed it the other day on my way from the Southern parts of Stockholm to the City.  The following are my own pictures of Kolingsborg from September 21st 2015.

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Kolingsborg 2015-09-21. Photo: ©nini.tjader.2015

The graffiti paintings are connected one to the other, but the painters have otherwise been free to paint what they wanted.

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Kolingsborg 2015-09-21. Photo: ©nini.tjader.2015
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Kolingsborg 2015-09-21. Photo: ©nini.tjader.2015
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Kolingsborg 2015-09-21. Photo: ©nini.tjader.2015

The building will be taken down in October 2015 in connection with the building of the new Slussen (whenever that starts, it was decided on only this week).

The murals inside will not be saved. They will be documented though for posterity.

Below Slussen as seen from the street on the way down to the Old Town from Kolingsborg and the Slussen area. This is the only way to pass Stockholm by boat from Mälaren to the East Sea.

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Slussen 2015-09-21. Photo: ©nini.tjader.2015

Addition 2016-02-08

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Kolingsborg gone 2016-02-08. Photo: ©nini.tjader.2016

And now it is gone. Just a hole in the ground…

My fathers pictures

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Oskar when young.

My father, Oskar Edvard Tjäder, was born on July 28th, 1906 and died on January 3rd, 1984. My father created signboards that still today can be seen on some places around Stockholm. He was a sign-designer and a commercial artist.

He also painted in oil and aquarelles when he had the time and was also a quite good photographer.

Below are the pictures I have in my possession. Sometimes they are on the walls, sometimes in storage.

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Oskar, selfie, scetch. Year unknown.

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This one lives on the wall above the TV.  Oil, 45 x 64 cms, 1929. When I grew up it belonged to my grandmother and hung in her room. I got it after she passed away in 1960. I have always loved this painting. It could need some cleaning though…

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The cat “Pirre” is above my be in the bedroom. Done on black scrape-paper (white hard carton overdrawn with black) where every line is scraped out in white with a special pencil. 21 x 17 cms, 1940. My father taught me how to do this technique but I don’t really have the patience for it. I still have some of that particular scratch-paper though.

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The two pictures above are pencil drawings from 1944 of me as a child. 19 x 24 cms and 13 x 19 cms.

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Flowers. Oil, 60 x 45 cms, 1932. This one could need some cleaning too and some repairs on the backside of the frame.

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Aquarelle of Stigbergsgatan, Södermalm, Stockholm, Sweden in 1940, 28 x 37 cms..

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Aquarelle of “Spring at Stigbergsgatan”, 1928, 30 x 39 cms.

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Oskar in 1983. Photo: ©nini.tjader

I have some more of my fathers drawings stored somewhere, and at least one more scratch-drawing… Time has marked the materials, especially the paper in the drawings and the aquarelles. Thanks to Adobe Camera Raw and Adobe Photoshop CC , some of the yellowness of the pictures could be removed, but in reality they are much more yellow than above. I also used Adobe Photoshop perspective crop to straighten some of the pictures after taking the pictures. It is always hard to get photos of bigger pictures straight when shooting. I have changed the frame of two of the pictures because they broke but the rest are the original wooden frames, some gilded.

PS. How do you clean oil paintings?

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Once I Got a Prize

When I was 13 I got a prize in a drawing competition. For this picture.

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The picture I got a price for.

As far as I can remember I was entered to the competition with this picture by my school. The picture was called “Mother is washing”. The competition was in an Indian paper which apparently held this competition yearly.

What I had in mind when doing this picture was the laundry room in the cellar of our apartment building. That was pre the existence of washing-machines. Washing was boiled in an enormous kettle and done by hand. And, no my mother did not have long hair and a bun at the neck…

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Shankar’s Weekly Children’s Art Number, 1957

I still have the issue, torn and turned, where my picture and name was published. This is how the text in the magazine started.

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So what did I win? A copy of the magazine and a small envelop-bag/clutch-bag in black velvet with hand-embroidered golden decorations. When it arrived it kind of smelled of India. I still have it. Then I thought “What kind of prize is this? What need do I have for an evening bag for parties?”. I was 13… Today I think it looks rather nice. It is lined and padded with both black velvet and some soft material that might be silk. You can see that it is handmade. Today I actually like it. I have never used it… it doesn’t really fit with the kind of parties I go to…

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The clutch-bag, front
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The clutch-bag, back

As the drawing had my name and adress written on it I got quite a few pen-pals (the equivalent of todays’ FaceBook…) from all over the world. Some I kept writing with for quite a few years. One in Eastern Germany, another in Japan.

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Nini at age 13. Mother had forced me to have a perm – something I really didn’t want and have never had since. Mother always wanted me to have curly hair…

Do I draw today? On and off. Some aquarelles sometimes. On the computer sometimes.

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Green valley, aquarelle by Nini, 1996
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