I try to go on inspiration dates (or "trawling for stories") as often as I can, and this time I ended up at the Turku Art Museum. They're showing a special exhibition of Nils Dardel's art until 17th Jan 2016. I went to check it out and fell in love with the vibrant colours, the absurd humour, and the wonderful detail in Dardel's work.
Nils Dardel (1888-1943) was a Swedish painter and dandy. In 1910 he made his first trip to Paris and became acquainted with the avant-garde movement. His style includes aspects of symbolism, naïvism, and surrealism, but it's very much his own and feels very unique. Some of his most famous works include The Dying Dandy, Visit to an Eccentric Lady, and Crime Passionnel.
Dardel contracted scarlet fever when he was seventeen, which resulted in a chronic heart condition, and this presence of death shows in his work as well as his life. He seems to have lived every day as if it were his last; heavy drinking and a full social calendar were very much a part of his life. He also made many trips around the world, visiting Japan, the United States, and South America, among others. Some of his biographers say that this was his way of turning a blind eye to the horrors of war, as the travels took place during the First and Second World War.
Dardel was a storyteller. He wasn't satisfied with reality as it was, but brought aspects of dream and fantasy into his work. That's something that resonates deeply with me.
This is the man himself. Handsome devil, isn't he?
Here are some of his paintings (All images are from Moderna Museet's book Nils Dardel and the Modern Age):
Dandy with a Sword
Dance of Death (Death and the Girl)
Sources: Nils Dardel and the Modern Age from Moderna Museet