Mic Linder (f. 1988) er finlandsvensk kunstner som bor og arbeider i Gøteborg. Han startet som tenåring med å lage tegneserierfigurer på veggene i sin hjemby Vasa. Deretter har det urbane uttrykket utviklet seg og kunstneren har siden stilt ut i Finland, Sverige, Tsjekkia, Syd-Afrika og Norge og kunsten hans henger på vegger hos samlere rundt hele kloden. Mic Linder kan betegnes som en nyekspresjonistisk maler som lar seg inspirere av alt fra tysk ekspresjonisme, Basquiat og art brut til barnetegninger, collage og dokusåper. Hans verk er ofte store og fargeglade med en rå, upolert penselføring og uforutsigbare møter mellom form og flate.
Att göra bilder är utmanande och kräver min fulla koncentration, och att vara fullt koncentrerad är att vara lycklig.
"The themes that hold Mic Linder's body of work together is time and eternity, what it meant, what it means and what it could mean to be human. His form is born intuitively in the moment as he moves freely between an array of different styles. In his work the process of painting manifests the unspeakable truths found outside of language. His art is a form of waking dream, where his mind process something and condense it into a picture or a sculpture, and this artifact could be viewed as a form of wordless insight or representation of an event. His paintings are often large-scale, freely scribbled, calligraphic and graffiti-like, echoing his past as a graffiti writer. As an avid adversary to the ideas of 'authenticity' connected to 'style' Mic Linder paints as though there is no hierarchy between the pictorial worlds and there is no 'self' to be found in the form. In his own words "style becomes something you put between yourself and the world... If you want to be honest you can´t be thinking about being coherent at the same time, you just gotta be present. Because otherwise it´s easy to get trapped in a situation where the form becomes your subject, and that´s all backwards... The "form", or "style" is something that´s supposed to be a channel to the outside, real world, not a dead end."
I try to be silent so I can hear my words and forms and let my hands speak loudly with confidence. Sometimes I want to be isolated and blind to what´s happening outside my studio window, because I´m trying to channel something else than that. Most of the time I have an idea about what I want to paint but as I start painting the picture twists the vision out of my hands and imposes itself on it, as I keep adding my options are getting fewer and fewer and it´s getting increasingly more difficult until the painting is done or I need to destroy it by painting over parts of it and start adding again.
I´ve tried to avoid developing a certain manner of painting, as I´m an adversary to the idea of 'authenticity' connected to 'style' and I try to paint as though there is no hierarchy between the pictorial worlds and there is no 'self' to be found in the form. I think Style becomes something you put between yourself and the world... If you want to be honest you can´t be thinking about being coherent at the same time, you just gotta be present in what is happening in the picture (or sculpture). Let it paint itself. Otherwise it´s easy to get trapped in a situation where the form becomes your subject, and that´s all backwards... The "form", or "style" is something that´s supposed to be a channel to the outside real world, or the inside real world, not a dead end.
Mic Linder, 2017
Interview With the Artist Mic Linder talking about his art in the reknown art and design blog:
om pom happy November 13, 2015. Text: Caroline Juskus
Finnish born artist Mic Linder now lives in Sweden. He chats about his life and the thoughts that shape his work…
Hi Mic, and welcome to Om Pom Happy. Finland is such a fascinating country…
Hey Caroline, thank’s for having me! Yeah, I grew up in a small coastal town called Vaasa. The whole thing burned down in the 1800’s so they rebuilt it again a couple of miles away, straight streets in an immaculate grid system with broad avenues so it wouldn’t burn down again haha. It’s probably one of the least organically evolved cities outside China. Nowadays I live with my girlfriend Caroline Eriksson in Gothenburg, Sweden. We met in art school a couple of years back… I kept painting while she went on to study design so I’m spending my days doing deliberately ugly paintings while she spends hers doing deliberately puposeless furniture. The future is looking bright haha!
Above: SELF PORTRAIT AS A BALLOON SALESMAN and: CAROLINE
Tell me about one of your recent works titled I’M BUILDING MYSELF A HOUSE (below)…
That piece was me acknowledging what I’m doing… The house is my art, and I hope I’ll have time to keep building on it, adding rooms, fixing leaks and shit. I like the house as a metaphor because from the outside a house looks coherent, orderly and uniform, but on the inside we have this human every day life… unwashed dishes… petty arguments… and in between the rooms rats scavenge what they can find and roaches shed their shell because they’re going to be butterflies now, finally free.
Woah, that’s a great analogy. I’m now intrigued to hear your thoughts behind BACKDROP FOR A NON-THEISTIC CHURCH (below)…
Well… I went to a friend’s wedding and it was a traditional church ceremony and I started thinking about our collective need for rituals in like these sort of rite-ofpassage situations. At most I’d describe my friend as a cultural christian, he doesn’t believe in god or anything, but he still wanted to have his wedding in a church because he felt it was the best way to have a ritual that would be… dignified, you know? Backdrop for a Non-Theistic Church is sort of a rough sketch and an attempt to formulate a new beginning without god, cause we’re a symbolic, ritualistic species. We need the dignity and the seriousness associated with rituals. The long term goal is to build a humanistic temple around the piece and to actually use it as a back drop. We’ll see. If one of your readers is building a church without any deistic or moneymaking nonsense, they’re welcome to use it for their purposes!
I love the idea of a humanist temple. What a fantastic ambition!
Can you tell us about the curiously titled BOY RAISED BY CROCODILES (below)…
When I did that piece I was thinking a lot about my upbringing and things that just happen to you and shape you into the person you are. One of my first memories is when I was 3 or 4 years old and my mom took me to the park and I was in the sand box with this kid, playing not with each other, but like next to each other, and for some reason he came right at me and bit me in the face. I was shocked, and started crying. My mom took me by the hand and we walked home.
Above: BOY RAISED BY CROCODILES
When we got home she was really angry with me and yelled at me, she thought I had acted weak and should have fought back… she told me that if someone bites me in the face, I should bite back, harder. She is the warmest possible person, intelligent and thoughtful, but she is also a pragmatist and I think that’s why she was yelling at me… because if you’re in a community of crocodiles you have to acknowledge this as a reality and teach your kids how to be a crocodile.
And that’s how it goes: society talks with our tongues due to a form of necessity. This piece is a nod to this… We are born in a body with a temperament and a heart, but we have interchangeable heads. I just think that there is a vast abyss between all the possible versions of ourselves.
Absolutely, and we’re often different versions of ourselves in different situations, for example at work and out of it. Do you have to work outside of art to pay the bills?
Above: MONOPOLY HEAD and: RAMP
Money is always a hassle, it’s never easy… Sometimes I sell some paintings but it’s hard to have any kind of continuity or stability so I work different jobs from time to time. Sometimes I feel like the character from Bukowski’s book Factotum… Starting some shitty job, quitting as soon as I have enough. Haha at least no one is going to accuse me of being a careerist! This summer I worked as a general handyman on a construction site, a job I really liked… good pay, physical work, no customer service bullshit, and they let me take home scrap materials for my sculptures.
Scrap materials are fantastic as they lead you into doing things you might not otherwise do. Considering this, do you plan much? Use preparatory sketches?
I draw a lot, and always have… sometimes the drawings end up as references or studies for paintings, but most of the time they’re just sort of a silent foundation for everything, from sculptures to paintings. But even when I use them as reference I try to keep the drawings open-ended so that what follows isn’t given and predictable. I break it up in some way to make it interesting and challenging and fun and exciting.
You are in the process of changing studios at the moment…
Yeah, the old one is in is this really sketchy abandoned food warehouse and is absolutely huge… my studio is in the old office, riddled with dated outlets to dated technology and it even has the kind of old school ‘tube messaging’ system you see in old movies where you put a message in a tube and it’s sucked into the void or whatever!
One of the best things is my studio neighbours… Marcus Dimbodius and Martin Molin, both multi talented musicians, but the roof is full of holes and every time it rains the corridor is flooded and some of the neighbouring rooms are riddled with mould. It’s really bad, you can almost see that green shit moving if you look close enough! So I had to get out and I found a light artsy loft just a few blocks from my apartment… And one of the best things is that I’m going to have my own woodworking studio there as well, with a band saw and a table mounted drill and everything!
Above: MIC AND CAROLINE IN THE NEW STUDIO
Change is always good for us. Fresh ideas and actions spring from it. Do you challenge yourself to other things besides painting?
I love to box! It’s great to get with the physical side, painting can be so cerebral… And I think painting needs to have that balance as well if it’s going to be interesting to me, it needs to be half brain half body. Anyways… yeah right, boxing! It’s the best sort of meditation because it forces you to focus and be present in the moment. You leave all that stress and everyday wear and tear at the door, it’s really liberating.
Above: COUPLE and: CONVEYOR BELT
Mic, it’s been so great chatting to you, and I absolutely can’t let you go without congratulating you on being ‘Saatchi Artist of the Day’ pretty soon!
Yeah, I was super happy to hear that they elected me their Artist of the Day, I’m really stoked and grateful! Let’s see how it pans out…
2016 Artist in recidence, at Plus Prague Gallery, Prague, Czech Republic
2010 - 2012 Kv Konstskola, Gøteborg
2003 började måla graffiti
2017 "Obscena gester" Galleri Nobel, Oslo separatutstilling
2016 Group show at Plus Prague Gallery, Prague, Czech Republic
2016 Symbiosis: Bothnia Biennale, group show at Jakobstads tobaksmagasin, Jakobstad, Finland
2015 Galleri Nobel 20th anniversary group show, Oslo, Norway
2015 Housing policy exhibition, group show at Röda Stens Konsthall, Gothenburg, Sweden
2015 "Ljus och glädje", Blackwall Gallery, Vasa, Finland
2015 "Här under solen". Unsquare Gallery, Skärhamn, Sweden. Separatutstilling
2015 Arteye Gallery, Johannesburg South Africa
2015 Seinäjoki Taidehalli, Seinäjoki, Finland
2014 R.E.D. Vasa, Finland
2014 Bart Bergen Street Art Collective Pop-up Store, Bergen
2014 Ung Konst Young Art Nuori Taide, Vasa konsthall, Vasa, Finland
2014 F Gallery, Bergen
2014 Galleri Nobel, Oslo
2014 "Självbefruktning som utväg för eremiten", Galleri Backlund, Göteborg. Separatutstilling
2013 "Nattexpressionism", Black Box Frilagret, Göteborg. Separatutstilling
2013 "Rännstenens Rembrandts", Galleri U U, Göteborg
2012 "Jag gömde mig... för att jag älskar dig", Kulturskafferiet, Vasa, Finland
2012 Performance (Ugly painting Contest) i samarbete med Kuntsi museum för modern konst, Vasa, Finland
2009 Mic Linder & Code26. Galleri Bella, Göteborg
2008 Vasa Konsthall. Gruppeutstilling, Vasa, Finland
2007 Performance (livemålning) Platform, Vasa, Finland