The newly opened Van der Plas Gallery on the Lower East Side celebrated their first solo artist show’s opening reception entitled “It’s Boring to Die”. It was in a word – humanistic. Walking through this show, one receives an eye-opening experience where each painting emphasizes the value of human beings, individually and collectively.
I spoke with artist, Johan Wahlstrom, originally from Sweden and now living in Malaga, Spain. We discussed his individual paintings and our discussion revolved around the feelings evoked by the many faces depicted, which were then compared to a ride on the NYC subway. With each person’s individual emotions, or lack thereof, we wonder what thoughts and feelings are going through the minds of these passengers. It is exponentially mind blowing when you realize the thousands, millions of people at any given moment. The paintings viewed as a whole are explosive with pops of “Spanish Red” surrounded by a cast of characters painted in “Swedish” serene blues. On closer inspection – one gets quietly lost in the myriad of emotions revealed.
The artist, Johan Wahlstrom titles his show “It’s Boring to Die” to inspire us to live our lives with happiness, excitement, sadness, frustration, ecstasy, anger – in other words, overflowing with emotion, because the opposite – “death” is certainly boring. In Johan’s words, “We shouldn’t whine about our lives because someone will always have it worse than you.”
The art seekers at Van der Plas Gallery were enjoying the opening reception to the fullest – with a fun crowd putting on generous smiles and interesting conversations! Wahlstrom will be heading around the world with this show, starting at Johannesburg, South Africa then beyond. Go see it at Van der Plas Gallery before it’s gone abroad and say hello to Adriaan van der Plas and Jane Brill, the down to earth and “humanistic” gallery owners.
Johan Wahlstrom: It’s Boring to Die
On View: June 27 – July 29, 2013
Gallery Hours: Wednesday – Sunday 11:00am – 6:00pm
Monday and Tuesday by appointment
Vander Plas Gallery . 156 Orchard Street . NYC, NY 10002
written and photographed by: Olya Turcihin