Stefan Johansson


"Friends, Heroes and Wankers"

The quotes painted on the portraits were chosen to reflect this inspiration but not necessarily as a means to communicate or convince others of their meaning. As Oscar Wilde wrote in his preface to The Picture of Dorian Grey, those who seek meaning below the surface do so at is own peril. Yet because painting is a completely solitary and selfish act, it allows me - as an artist - to express myself onto canvas in a free yet concentrated manner, abandoning any preconceived notion of who I am. Time has given me the freedom to extract what I can from these philosophies, it makes perfect sense to me to reflect these meanings with formal portraiture while obscuring the lines with the the words of the subject or in some case as tribute to the subject. Art is subjective, and as such I leave it up to the viewer to decide in which category of my theme each subject falls...

"Existential part of my being"

My painting is an existential part of my being, not unlike the great and not so great artists that have preceded me. To execute in the formal manner of a portraitist  while blatantly obscuring the image by underlining the philosophy of my art with the utilization of the subject's words underscores both the meaning and the depth I strive to communicate. What the viewer derives from his effort will hopefully be thoughtful, and if so, then the effort will have even better succeeded.

Steve McQueen

Oil on Canvas • 72" x 60" • 2017