‘Hijack your life’ is artists’ Kalle Mattsson’s guiding dictum. Yet on Curaçao, life seemed to capture Mattsson; he experienced the island as social detox, a reset button, and a tropical jail. The graphic designer, who works and resides in Amsterdam, arrived on Curaçao in April for a three month residency at Instituto Buena Bista (IBB). The artist, who was born and raised in Sweden, focused on the link between commercialism and modern day colonialism in Curaçaoan public space. He will present his work at IBB on June 24th.

As an artist, Mattsson has been inspired by the invasion of commercialism in public space. “On Curacao, that means being confronted with Chippie 50 times a day. Or currently, the World Cup. I didn’t ask for that information”, Mattsson says. In combination with his presentation, Mattsson will stage an intervention in a public space; inviting Curaçaoans to regard their surroundings in a more critical manner.
From his Amsterdam existence controlled by deadlines and high-speed living, Curacao confronted Mattsson with a baffling silence. Deeply engrained in his love of adrenaline producing music as crust punk and death metal, the graphic designer was shocked to find he could even tolerate reggae on Curaçao. Even his long blond hair and white complexion had to adjust to Caribbean island life.

In the second quarter of 2010, Mattsson participated in IBB’s residency program, in collaboration with The Netherlands Foundation for Visual Arts, Design and Architecture, known in the Netherlands as Fonds BKVB. In addition to his own work, the artist developed a workshop for IBB-students. Several students made posters, which were put up in Punda, downtown Willemstad. “I wanted to show the students that they have a voice in the public space aswell. That public space does not need to be controlled solely by commercial interest”, says Mattsson. The artist presents his own work, including collages and research into Curaçaoan street art, such as graffiti and hand painted signs, on Thursday June 24th at 19:30 hours at IBB.

Mattsson mostly works as a graphic designer. He digitally designs books and logo’s, blurring the fine line between graphic design and image making. His background includes drawing and painting. On Curaçao, Mattsson digitally produced various collages; made from self-made images, such as photographs, drawings and paint. The collages depict an illusory reality, making fiction and non-fiction meet in depictions of, for instance, Curaçao’s marine terraces as moon landscapes, including a landing astronaut.

Additional information on the artist: www.hijackyourlife.com
Location: IBB, De Ruyterkade 58, Thursday June 24th, doors open at 19.00 hours. Admission is free!