Undoubtedly, Johan Edlund is a musician par excellence. A very good gothic. An artist in every way. The leader from Tiamat (Sweden) can easily say about painting that it’s just a hobby, but the profoundness of his works and his talent can certainly allow one to name him a painter, and even a successful one. (Photos: Facebook. Romanian version of this text here)
The art of Johan Edlund is like a complex number: it is composed by adding a real number to an imaginary one. A mix of places, events, occurrences, associated with wishes, dreams, visions. A world whom he adds a magic(k) point. An unit composed of many parts, of distinct elements – lines, angles, circles, shapes and features, all of them different, which create a whole where every dash plays its own part.
Various conjugations and combinations, connections made with an infinite patience, all these define him simultaneously as a complex and complete artist. A visionary, like he is in his music, the artist weaves a web where he catches one. A web he decorates in the minutest details. About Johan Edlund one said that he is a chameleon, maybe as a reference to his abilities to adapt and to change. If I’d paraphrase it, I’d say that Edlund catches the colour of the picture he paints, because he himself is a part of the painting.
Watercolor on paper, oil painting. Many of his approaches are abstract, but there are other painting styles that come alive through his hands. Some rarities: I saw landscapes painted by Johan Edlund. Mountains or lakes. A mastery of landscape which fascinated me as much as those which made him famous, which define his painting style and made it unique. Maybe it was about some exceptions, maybe he wanted to prove that he can do it, and he can do it extremely good.
Johan Edlund creates a world of thousand and thousand elements. I really don’t know, but I can imagine how much time he needs to create all those multitudinous and extremely small elements. Seeing many of his works is like watching them through a spyglass. A spyglass which allows one to examine the whole, it enhances the perspective upon objects and it allows a better distinction of details. An endless ocean of combinations and colours. A kaleidoscope which makes one think of the homonymous song on the album “Wildhoney” – multiplied, packed and not always regular.
The paintings of Johan Edlund resemble his music, his entire art, his life. They are practically a part of him. One can distinguish a leitmotiv, a sort of ritual, as cryptic as his texts. If he’d choose to be a colour, the Swedish artist would definitely opt for “any colour you like as long as it’s black”. But for me he’s blue. Sometimes light blue, some other times dark blue. Dark as himself. But always blue to the deepest part of his irides. Huge and intensive. Fluid. Flowing.
I don’t know what influences him. I’d like to be able to ask him that in this life, and I’d like to receive an answer from him in the next life. Because Edlund’s paintings come from the future. There is no time, maybe only space. Sometimes as small as 30×40 cm. Maybe there’s a bit of Picasso if I were to think about Guernica, maybe a bit of Dali and his Persistence of Memory, maybe a bit of the charm of Paul Klee’s cats. And still, through the key elements and his unique meticulosity, Johan Edlund shows an unique painting style that makes him different. “It is the bitcoin of the future”, he said about art and about painting in particular.
I visited countless museums and modern art galleries, in Paris, Berlin, Rome, Vienna, Prague or Stockholm and sometimes I felt that some of the artists chose the wrong door. The works of this artist, whose talent can be seen from afar, would deserve to be there. And I can’t stop wondering why he doesn’t have an exhibition in his own country, because he deserves it abundantly. Because his art is more than that. It’s pure inspiration.
„bigtownsmallgirl”, „churchwindowfleshwound”, „fallen_roman”, „horserace”, „intheflesh”, „manikin”, „Mexican_Radio”, „nighttrain”, „volvo 242b”, „Amanitis”, „Eastersunday”, „lavendermistno666small”, „muslimtuesdat”, „tavla”, „tenthousandtentacles” are just a few of his older works or his newer ones – „Churchgoers #4”,„Homage to Dubuffet”, „Athena”, „Not Churchgoers”, „Ugly #1”, „Jolie” şi „Woman With Nothing In Her Hand”.
Recently, Johan Edlund began to paint again. In my oppinion, a good decision. His admirers have already bought some of his paintings, other ones are available online. Furthermore, the artist sends an autographed drawing to his fans which donate for the future projects of Tiamat. If you are fans of the band or you are merely fans of his art, you should have at least one of his paintings in your collection. In years to come it could be as precious as a million albums.