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carolina falkholt standing infront of finger mural

Artist Spotlight: Carolina Falkholt

When looking for one word to describe her artwork, shy would not be among them. Carolina Falkholt is among the most versatile artists on the planet. She is known for grafitta which incorporates graffiti and the female reproductive organ representation into masterpieces.

Born in 1977 in Sweden, she lived a normal childhood in her hometown Dals Långed, Dalsland. She then pursued an education at the Waldorf school Kristofferskolan in Stockholm.

Her time in the Waldorf School opened doors for her to start graffiti work. At the time, she went by the assumed name blue. To seek better opportunities she moved to New-York and found herself working with other major artists.

To understand her work, one needs to understand the level of artists she worked with. She joined two famous groups; Hardcore Chickz and The fantastic partners. Her work was recognized and she ended up working for the Rawkus recording company. She collaborated with huge artists like Sento and Lady pink. All this work led to her being recognized among Sweden’s famous graffiti writers.

After 4 years working and living in New York city she had gotten enough experience and acknowledgment under her belt, she went back home to Gothenburg, Sweden.

Her Works

Globally she is known for drawing and graffiti but she has dabbled in other avenues of art. She sculpts, does installations, organizes performances, creates collages and finally film and photography.

carolina falkholt standing infront of finger mural full

If you look at her artwork, you will notice a lot of colors and unending circles. These circles create beautiful webs which are then filled out to make beautiful designs. She also has a thing for incorporating other features of the body besides the vagina. You will find some paintings with eyes, hands, ears, and mouth.

You can see how much work she puts in since most of her work is very intricate. Her hand paintings are especially notable for the detail and meaning since she utilizes the Swedish sign language.

Among her, most notable works include the 2010 collaboration with a number of other artists. The project was named Graffiti Mariestad. Thirty artists including musicians, dancers, and other famous graffiti artists worked to produce a large-scale artwork. It can actually be considered among the largest graffiti works to ever be produced.

Fortunately or unfortunately, the silo which housed the masterpiece was torn down.  For the sad part, the artwork was gone forever. For the better part, she got commissioned to create a public sculpture.

falkholt test sculpture

She did not disappoint. She created T.E.S.T, a 12 foot sculpture that was inaugurated in Mariestad back in 2011. The statue featured materials from the demolished silo making it a great way to remember art through art. You can read her book SILO to understand the whole process.

She has had her work displayed in many museums including the Gothenburg museum of art, Ystad art Museum, Eskilstuna museum, and other places like Steneby Konsthall. She has also found time to participate in TV shows and curated exhibitions such as the Mynningsladdare in Gothenburg. Her works are unending and so is her praise.

carolina falkholt mural Övermålning

In 2014, she was commissioned to do work which turned out to be controversial. The painting dubbed Övermålning featured derogatory words towards women painted over with a motif of a lady’s naked bottom half.

Since the painting was commissioned by a school in Nyköping, many did not approve of the message it sent. They even erected a wall in front of it. After a ray of heated arguments with politicians taking a standpoint on the matter, the painting won. The wall came down and all was free to see.

Another high school commissioned a painting by Carolina Falkholt. As it turns out, it also proved to be another controversial painting depicting a naked woman upside down in an uncomfortable position. This mural did not raise as many eyebrows comparing it to the 2014 painting.

falkholt penis mural in new york december 2017

The one that got the most attention is the mural she painted in 2017 in New York City. The 40inch erect penis made its debut on the side of a building at 303 Broome Street. Many were amused by the painting and some not so much.

Commissioned by the street Art Foundation, this painting got a lot of attention. The intention was that the painting was meant to accompany an earlier painting of a vagina on Pike Street. Unfortunately, due to the order of the landlord, the painting was painted over just hours after it was completed.

When asked what she thought of the matter she said: “Art is one of the only places left where we can truly be free and discuss whatever difficult topics there are, since art has the ability to translate and transform language in any direction possible.”

With those few philosophical words from her, the art world is sure to experience the brilliant antiques of Carolina Falkholt. Her art is vibrant, controversial and the world wants more and so do we!

artscape 2016 website front page

Street Art Festival: Artscape

Scandinavia is famous for a great number of things. Vikings, great fish, socialism. They’re also home to a young street art festival that’s been steadily growing in size, scope, and ambition for the past couple of years. Started in 2014 in Malmö, Sweden, the Artscape Street Art Festival creates new public art to compete with the billboards and advertisements that are scattered throughout the city. To use their own words: “Great art shouldn’t be confined to only galleries and museums!”

mural by rone being painted on side of a tall building during artscape 2016

The festival began as Scandinavia’s only street art festival and focused on giving space to artists from around the world. When the festival was in full  swing during the summer months of July and August, you could find a great number of artists from around the world. Australia’s Rone, for example, could be seen painting a giant mural on the side of a 12-storey apartment building. The UK’s Cityzen Kane was there as well, along with Sweden’s own Yash. The size and scope of the murals varied greatly, but in the two years that Artscape was in Malmö, the amount of visible and beautiful street art increased substantially.

completed mural by rone at artscape 2016

by Rone

Artscape, the namesake nonprofit organization for the festival, doesn’t just put on one event per year, however, they are active in Sweden and Europe all year long. In fact, they recently unveiled a brand new art project that “remixes” one of Malmö’s oldest landmarks: the famous griffin statue in the city’s square. Constructed in 1437, the griffin was a gift from King Eric XIII to the city, whose coat of arms includes a griffin. Artscape, thinking that 600 years was long enough before doing some a little different, hired three artists to create a new approach to the statue.

mural by zadok from artscape 2015

by Zodak

The three artists, Zadok, Christina Angelina, and Bless, used a variation of the Exquisite Corpse technique, popularized by the surrealist movement, to each create a component of the new Malmö griffin. Each artist took a turn creating a new part of the griffin, with the next artist then adding their concept afterwards. According to Artscape, they “decided to add a humble human to symbolise the people of Malmö. After creating three striking characters, each in a totally different style, the different segments of the wall were switched around to form three new incarnations of the city’s symbol.”

mural by bless at artscape

Bless

The Artscape Street Art Festival moved for 2016 to Gothenburg, Sweden’s second largest city next to Stockholm, and has expanded in kind. With double the population over Malmö, Gothenberg represents a brand new canvas on which some of the world’s, and especially Europe’s, greatest street artists can create, collaborate, and share with people around the world. In just two short years, Artscape transformed Malmö. Now Gothenberg could experience a similar transformation.

 

roskilde festival graffiti image

2014 Roskilde Graffiti Camp

For a graffiti artist, there’s little better than friends, paint, and an endless supply of surfaces to write on. It taps into everything that makes street art great: companionship, artistic collaboration, limitless potential, and, naturally, fun. Nothing quite makes street art as good as doing it with people and getting plenty of space to do it. In many places around the world, this is simply impossible. Laws condemn graffiti, keeping groups small and disconnected while removing any tags and writing they find. In some cases, this makes dedicated artists seek new, more dangerous canvases to write on. So when an event like the Roskilde Graffiti Camp comes along, artists tend to sit up, take notice, and create.

The Roskilde Graffiti Camp was started a couple of years ago by a small and dedicated group of people in Sweden. It’s a place where artists could come and hang out, paint some graffiti, and grab some cold beers after a hard day’s work. It’s only been happening for a couple of years, but the 2014 Roskilde event was easily its biggest, most ambitious, and best attended event. The organizers managed to snag an entire sea container’s worth of shipping cans, each their own different colour, for the event. That adds up to literally kilometres of blank canvas for artists, not a bad way to start a festival.

Past that, the event featured musical performances and more to keep artists and other attendees occupied when not painting or looking at graffiti. Of course, the most fun to be had was during the day, where artists could get involved in collaborative projects and large-scale solo efforts. Watching these pieces unfold over the day was in itself a treat. The end products, as you can see, are absolutely incredible.

Roskilde invited artists from around the world to join in on the fun, including Tizer, Vans the Omega, Sket185, Karski, Beyond, Soten, Rasko, and many more. In all, over 40 artists were there to paint the thousands of feet worth of containers. The results were a mash up of great ideas and distinctive styles, each more interesting and intricate than the last. The friendly competition pushed these artists to prove themselves, but also to absorb other styles, techniques, and approaches. Some of the pieces stand as a testament to the power of cooperation and, in some cases, are some of the best work these artists have ever produced.

The Roskilde Graffiti Camp is yet another example of what can happen when artists are left free to create, collaborate, and engage with each other. Not only did attendees have a chance to look at some international talent as they were writing, getting a behind-the-scenes look into their creative processes, the artists had the opportunity to learn from each other. Friendly competitions and multi-artist projects left us with some of the most unique street art we’ve ever seen. And when an event like this is run by experienced and professional organizers, the energy and excitement is tangible.