Jim Thorell, Photo by Jean-Baptiste Béranger
Jim Thorell, Photo: Jean-Baptiste Béranger

What made you become an artist?
Instinct, circumstance, influence, and opportunity. My parents and my sister, my wife, and my children. And all of my friends, artists, art lovers the whole lot.

What inspires you?
Unexpected things, anything that leads me off the beaten path.

Jim Thorell, Subway Doves, May 10–May 28, 2023 (2)
Jim Thorell, Subway Doves, May 10–May 28, 2023. Photo: Jean-Baptiste Béranger

My first spontaneous reaction when I saw your art was This is how graffiti must look like in another dimension. What role does the written word play in your art and do you have any special references?
When I paint and draw I like to let my hands go, when I recognize what I’m doing, seeing the shape of a word take form I will immediately attempt to change it, making it unintelligible as to isolate it is a gestural component. I like the shape of words but not the meaning. The shape is equal to any shape, but different flowers signify a plethora of meanings. The viewer presumes I’m saying something and that is not the level on which I communicate. I don’t want it to make sense, at all. Not for me not for you. The graffiti element is just a muscle memory thing it’s not there to necessarily mean anything but an extension of my personal expression. It’s scribbling. The expression is in my dedication to the image.

Photo: Jean-Baptiste Béranger
Jim Thorell, Subway Doves, May 10–May 28, 2023. Photo: Jean-Baptiste Béranger

How would you describe the art scene in Stockholm?
I left Stockholm when I was 18 and initially, I wasn’t going back, but being here now for a decade or so my understanding of the scene has deepened and I feel that it holds ideals that I think are worth protecting, it has problems I can live with and holds enough of promise to keep things interesting. There’s a good influx of people in Stockholm that mends the stagnant provincialism that occurs with being a tiny country at the end of the line.

What are you working on at the moment?
I just had a show with Loyal gallery in Stockholm in may and I’m trying to produce a series of paintings that holds up to scrutiny in time for the armory show in September which I’m doing with my German gallery Setareh.

Jim Thorell (born 1981, Stockholm, Sweden) Represented by: Loyal Setareh,,, Special thanks to Amy Giunta, Loyal Stockholm