Sommaren är kort / Summer Is Swift
Gallery Steinsland Berliner is very pleased to present Swedish painter Leo Park’s first solo exhibition at the gallery. Sommaren är kort / Summer Is Swift comprises a series of playful, multifaceted paintings that lead the way into a captivating artistry.
Leo Park sources motifs and stylistic influence from art history and fuses them with pop cultural references to form a figurative style of painting that is undoubtedly contemporary yet relatable in its connection to artistic traditions. His visual world is inhabited by well-known myths and tropes in which themes such as desire, creation and death are explored. Park is guided by a yearning for the universal in art. A timelessness and boundlessness where the painting’s essence can be interpreted freely and by many.
Park ponders how future generations will interpret images created today as the instant image sharing that internet facilitates diminishes the importance of art historically important markers such as the time period and place of origin of an image or movement. By integrating time specific markers (an iPhone of a certainmodel) with well-known ideas and formulas relating to art history,
Park is in a way reaching across time to paint in the now.
In Sommaren är kort / Summer Is Swift, Park brings us to the beach. The beach is crowded with distorted bodies in impossible positions and covered in mysterious tattoos (perhaps a nod to Park’s foundational interest in drawing). They are frolicking in a manner joyful enough to border on vulgar. This opulence is further enhanced by melting ice cream cones present throughout the paintings. The cones reference the mythological cornucopia, or “the horn of plenty”, a hollow horn filled with tokens of abundance and fertility such as fruit and flowers which has been a recurring symbol throughout history in art and myth.
Leo Park (b. 1980) works and lives in Stockholm. He holds an MFA from Konstfack College of Arts, Craft and Design. He has taken place in several shows as both artist and curator as well as completed public decorations in Sweden and abroad. His latest showing was at X:et Erixons Museum in position as grant recipient from the Swedish Royal Academy of Arts.