Johan Wahlstrom

Johan Wahlstrom is a Swedish-born painter who is a fifth-generation artist on his mother’s side. His dark narrative paintings of heads and torsos in acrylic and ink are inspired by cryptic, often ironic social critiques that he collects on scraps of paper in his studio. He makes a conscious effort to describe the social political landscape of our contemporary world. He uses political iconography and a brash painting style to bring to the fore a raw juxtaposition of issues facing everyday life. The use of corporate media images and information gathered from various news outlets are the underpinnings of his compositions. A sharp critique of fascism and authoritarianism is also a reoccurring theme throughout his work. Though art was in his blood, his first creative direction was rock and roll, where he had a successful and long career as a keyboardist and singer, touring with Ian Hunter, Graham Parker, Mick Ronson, and many Scandinavian artists. After eighteen years, the rock and roll life caught up with him. Wahlstrom moved to a small village in France where he did nothing but paint for seven years, part of that time under the tutelage of Swedish artist, Lennart Nyström. Since 1999, his work has been displayed in galleries across Europe and the US. In his series, House of Lies, Wahlstrom depicted a world full of deception, ignorance, and chaos. House of Lies has previously shown at places like Galleri Ekvall+Törnblom (Stockholm, Sweden) and Form/Space Atelier (Seattle, WA). Wahlstrom lives and works in New York and Málaga, Spain. For more information, visit