The simple life
Incongruous, extreme, but vehemently real, Nilsson paints with furious brush strokes and delicate lines; invents scenes or rather renders dreams that expose as much of the artist, as they do about the world in which we live in.
Nilsson layers complex narratives. His subjects are excessive, destructive, outlandish and flawed. Each image swells from an emptiness that exists within us all: how far can we go, before we turn back and rediscover what is truly valuable?
Many of the same references appear again and again throughout Nilsson’s work. Pregnant women, penises, skulls, crosses, dead forests; the stuff of reality soaked in the grotesque. An obsession? A two fingered salute to the 21st Century? Nilsson has one foot firmly on either side.
One cannot dismiss the ‘anti’ in Nilsson’s work. The wink, the insider nod that let’s us know we are not alone in our uneasiness with the materiality of today. Nilsson wants to show you this, to make you squirm; the Chanel bag, the Nike trainers, the Sony stereo: everyday elements in a dystopian, somewhat fairy tale world, more recognizable than you think.
Oskar Nilsson has something to say. Even the title of this show cannot be overlooked: a reference to the American reality series with the same name. It’s star, the socialite Paris Hilton, travels across the states performing manual work, living “the simple life”.
Nilsson comments on culture in his own macabre and humoristic way. A fresh thought provoking artist. An Angela Carter with a paintbrush. He presents a world, which everyone knows is an illusion, yet is so easily fooled by.
Oskar Nilsson, b. 1976 in Ulricehamn, Sweden. Lives and work in Gothenburg, Sweden.
Text by Sam Hooper