Gunnel Wahlstrand | the artist
The artist Gunnel Wahlstrand
Born 1974, Stockholm, Sweden.
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Gunnel Wåhlstrand bases her work on her family’s photo album. Time-consuming, large-scale, and with great precision, she paints from photographs of her father’s early childhood.
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Gunnel Wåhlstrand has been widely acknowledged for her paintings. She has been awarded grants by the Maria Bonnier Dahlin Foundation and the Anna Lisa Thomsson Foundation (2003 and 2004). She was represented at The Armory Show in New York (2004), and the Spring Exhibition at Liljevalchs Konsthall, Stockholm (2001 and 2002).
Wahlstrand works in ink-wash, a time-consuming and precise technique she has come to master to perfection.
Wåhlstrand’s photorealist, black-and-white images are not actually photos. They’re vast paintings, which translate the original snaps into pieces more than two-metres high. She goes beyond the average person’s interest in family memorabilia, but then she never knew her father. He killed himself when she was just one; the family album was all she had of him. When she was a student at art school in Stockholm in the 1990s, she began painting portraits of strangers, based on anonymous photos, at a rate of one a day. Yet it was the photos of her father she looked at every morning…