"I didn't really have a role model when I was younger, I didn’t know any artists and I really didn’t THINK OF it as a profession. But I loved to draw."
One of the most talented painters we've come across, Markus Åkesson is one artist to watch. Born 1975, Åkesson lives and works in Nybro, Sweden. A neofigurative painter, his work has been shows in Paris, Berlin, Brussels, London, Vilnius and Stockholm. Åkesson has received several achievement awards including the Golden Feather from the publication, Barometern, in 2014 as well as a two-year working grant from the Swedish Arts Grants Committee for the years 2018 and 2019.
We had the opportunity to ask Åkesson about his work and what it takes to create such beautiful work. One hint, a lot of work. :)
What's your earliest memory of art?
It was a book with Scandinavian fairy tales, illustrated by the Swedish jugend artist John Bauer. I really loved the images, I felt like I was entering another world when I looked at them.
Who inspired you to be an artist?
I didn´t really have a role model when I was younger, I didn’t know any artists and I really didn’t think of it as a profession. But I loved to draw. From the age of 19, I worked in a factory and had no connection with the art world. But in my early twenties, I got a job as an glass engraver apprentice and I suddenly felt that I had found my place in the world. Later on I felt a strong urge to express myself and I started to paint.
What is your art about?
I use classical materials in a classical way, oil colors on canvas. My art revolves around the esoteric and the philosophic . Subjects such as life and death, reality and the unreal has always fascinated me.
Who were some artists that influenced your work and you admire?
When I started to paint I was very inspired by the impressionists and later on I looked a lot at contemporary painters such as Lucian Freud.
How did you develop your style?
Just by painting a lot. I didn’t really realize myself but suddenly I found myself having developed something of a personal way of painting.
If you could collaborate with any artist dead or alive, who would it be?
I would have loved to be a part of the Preraphaelitic movement.
What do you want to accomplish with your art?
I have already accomplished my goal which is to be able to paint. I am so grateful for this, everything else is just a bonus.
What is the last thing you saw that really inspired you to create?
It was a small decorative cherub made of porcelain.
What advice do you have for young artists looking to pursue a career in art or any other creative pursuit?
Always follow your heart and work every day. If you are not able to work with art everyday, make this your first long term goal.