An Interview with Martin Jonsson
Martin Jonsson is an artist from Sweden. He paints surrealism, often featuring clouds and human figures. — Editor
Many of your compositions feature clouds. What is the significance of clouds in your art?
I don’t know the meaning of my clouds, but they are interesting subjects to paint and they add a mystical feel to the painting if they are used in the right way. Last year I started to paint clouds more as figures and objects than as a natural phenomena.
Did you have formal art training or are you self-taught?
I went to an art school called Basis in Stockholm, Sweden for two years.
How did you become interested in surrealism?
Surrealism has always been there I think. I have always had a lively fantasy and always liked the morbid and "surreal." When I was young I remember watching in my mom's Magritte book, dreaming away. And at 16 I got a book on H.R Giger (Swiss surrealist) and was completely blown away by his hysterical erotic and horror fantasies. I said to myself “I must learn how too paint like this!!” And I started drawing like a maniac. That was the start of my art career. At 22 I found the same "kick" in Salvador Dali paintings.
What specific theme do you try to pursue in your artwork?
Mysticism! I want to create a mystic atmosphere in my paintings. Alchemy has always one of my sources of inspiration, and one of qualities I like best in alchemic imagery is their mystic atmosphere even if the subject is quite "normal". Surrealistic images are like a modern psychoanalytic version of these old alchemic images. I also pursue beauty and harmony, I usually make use of the divine proportion/golden section for perfect balance.
What is the significance of nude figures in your work?
The nude is an important part of my work. I’m interested in the human body and find the human nude to be one of the most beautiful things. Apart from its beauty, I like the challenge of painting or drawing the human body since it is the artist’s greatest and hardest challenge.
How do you know when a piece is done?
I just know! It is some sort of gut-feeling. I don’t think someone can learn it. You are either born with it or not.
How do you come up with ideas for artwork?
They just come from nowhere! Usually I see a finished painting in my head and I try to keep that image in my head and then paint it. I seldom construct my ideas. I just wait for them to pop up in my head.
Who are your favorite artists?
Salvador Dali, Ingres, Vermeer, Gerard Terborch, Odd Nerdrum, Jan Van Goyen, H. Bosch, Diego Velázquez, Raphael, Da Vinci, Dieric Bouts, Rogier Van der Weyden, Jan van Eyck, Salomon van Ruysdael. My great love is Dutch 16th-17th century painting.
What advice would you give to an aspiring artist?
Learn to draw and paint realistically before experimenting with different styles.
How can one acquire your work?
E-mail me at Martinjonsson91hotmail.com
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