Ruins of tomorrow 2017
Shadows play an important role in Kristoffer Zetterstrand’s latest works. By digitally 3D-modelling vast landscapes from old paintings, he is able to change the time and weather in the motives after his own choosing. In these temporalized environments he posits disparate objects, people and animals, ultimately creating dream-like scenarios. Each of these scenes, by the artist himself described as virtual still lifes, is then transferred back onto a canvas.
The position of the sun determines the direction and length of the shadows in each painting. It thus presents us with a distinct idea of time and location – our position in relation to the sun and whether it is sunset or sunrise. The shadows further present us with a conception of depth, varying from motive to motive. In The View III the landscape occurs as a two-dimensional backdrop, whereas in The Seamstress it appears to be endless.
At the same time, the notion of both time and place is dissolved by the painting’s surrealistic motives. Zetterstrand’s works contain fragments of images from different periods of time; they are filled with references to art history as well as contemporary elements like the graffiti in The Steps. The soft brush strokes and subtle use of nuances enhance the feeling of illusion evoked by the collages. The outcome is dramatic, almost theatrical. By building his own worlds – constructing, changing and demolishing static works of art – Zetterstrand brings life into the history of painting.