People often ask what do I paint, where do I get the inspiration for my paintings, or ask for me to paint them something. In the most cliché way possible, I do not choose what I draw, at least not in the straight foreword sense of the word. I take dozens of photographs and videos throughout my everyday life. More often than not they tend to accumulate on my phone until my memory gets full and I transfer them on my computer, burying them in my ‘PhotosfromPhonefolder’.
Lately I started painting the subjects of my past relationships right after they start to disintegrate, and, these buried photos then become very handy. Yes, it is a form of selfreflection, but the more I do it, the more I realise that it is a very good way for me to distance myself from the subject I’m painting. The face, the memories, the backdrop, they all lose their mystifying qualities, and they solidify in their non-idealised state. For me, it is like making your own souvenir of a time passed; not to forget, but to recall with a different perspective and to take a step back and start moving forward. It is similar to those old souvenirs people would buy from their travels abroad: robust miniature statues of Greek and Roman gods on a shelf in the dining room, fridge magnets from the Niagara Falls in the kitchen, or beautifully drawn calligraphy scrolls from China hanging on the living room wall.
Painting is similar to a souvenir, but also much more than that. It is something you make for yourself. A means for you to mould, think and rethink about a situation in your head -- a Gordian knot-like situation, where there is no right or wrong way to go about it. When you have gone through it, you are left with something beautiful to remember the good and the bad by.