Introducing Jesper Waldersten A conversation with Sara Paborn
SP: Can you recall the first drawing that made you feel really proud?
JW: As a boy I was always quite complacent regarding most of my achievements, something that I grew to regret later on. That’s life. I remember one image, it was an oil painting illustrating a wild beast recklessly assaulting a woman. It was dark, pubertal and I’d made a note on one of the edges that the picture would be mine forever. I burned it later.
SP: Are there any artists that have been important for you in your creative process?
JW: That’s a list as long as life. Even though it rarely includes “artists” as we usually see them... there are shades, colours, voices and voids. Eyes of the night. If I had a bird pet it would be called Guernica or Old school. My dog’s name is Pollock, and I’m allergic. I think that says it all.
SP: In a few words, how would you describe your own creative world?
JW: It’s a forest to get lost in. It’s big as the night and a way of living. It’s forgiven to get lost on purpose. Sometimes the critics think I’m too erratic, but I make sure they know that my words, my drawings, images and paintings are pauses, crescendos and lower keys in a symphony described in pictures and words. I’m not a note, I´m a whole melody.
SP: Your work feels swift and sharp. Do you ever plan your work ahead, or do you improvise?
JW: Everything’s got a plan. Everything’s improvised. We walk, eat, shit... it’s all simple. Unplanned. But life is much harder than that. We do it over and over again. We practice. The truth is that I only show a small part of what I do. I could work twice as much if I had to. If I wanted to.
SP: How do you proceed when you get tired of yourself?
JW: I get tired of myself all the time and because of that I’ve found the urge to keep looking for happiness. True joy only exits in the moment. But it’s a fun game to play and search.
SP: You’re a very public artist. For example, I often find your illustrations in newspapers. Can you be independent in your work, or are there any subjects you avoid?
JW: We avoid too much. The artist Jan Håfström once gave me the advice to “own the situation”. I have a voice and as long as no one else is supporting and mediating it to the world, I’ll have to do it. We can’t stop making ourselves heard!
SP: What is the most hopeful word to you?