Hampus Balanzo Wernemyr

Written by Art & Culture

Hampus has a very unique perspective on the world. He sees things in his own way, and it shows in how he portrays both people and objects. Someone once said that it was like getting a glimpse into another world, but we rather think it's precisely his perspective on the world.

What are you working on right now? /Tell us about your exhibition during Stockholm Art Week?
I’m about to start working on a series of paintings for a group show in Seoul, South Korea, in September. I’m picking up the brushes where I had to lay them down due to the deadline for my current solo show Turpentine Conclusions at ISSUES.

What inspired you to become an artist, and how has your artistic journey evolved over time?
My mother is an artist and my father an architect, creative thinking and aesthetic expression was held very high during my upbringing. As long as you said it was art almost everything was allowed. Art was equal to freedom. But I didn’t paint until my mid twenties, instead I played the violin and guitar. When I started painting I immediately knew I had found the thing I could do the rest of my life. My way of painting has changed a lot over the years but it has always been strictly painting for me since I began.

What is your creative process like, and how do you approach developing new ideas and concepts for your work?
That’s a mystery to me. Painting is kind of a struggle up until I start painting then I just let go. I get an impulse or idea, something that I’m curious about. I then start building on that idea using logic and some kind of balance. Paintings are like contraposto towers to me. It sounds out there, I know, but visualizing it like that makes it much easier for me to know where I am in the process and to know what needs to be done.
Over the years I’ve come to realize that all I do is constantly judge every idea or move I make in the studio. It’s basic commands like yes/no, continue/stop, ringt/wrong. The hard part is knowing what command to choose.
Since my work is completely dependent of the zeitgeist I pick up, I will never run out of ideas or get stuck, because my my view is constantly changing.

Can you tell me about a specific artwork /series of works that are particularly meaningful to you and why?
I guess my graduation show Tip-Tap has been the most important show for me. Working towards that show I took the stance I have kept since then. I started doing things my way all the way. Fully accepting my artistic practice and being ready to go down with it if it leads to that.

What do you think of Stockholm as an art city?
I don’t think of that. Wow, that’s probably the worst answer in an interview ever.

Do you have a favorite Swedish Artist?
Yes many. One artist that has been with me since forever is Evert Lundqvist. We share the love of focusing on a single object in each painting.
Currently reading Lars Noréns dairies and his way of living through his work resonates deep within me. I too don’t understand how to exist without working.

Favourite bar/restaurant
I don’t go out like that very often. I keep in touch with my friends on the phone from the studio. And I meet colleagues and friends at openings. I prefer to dance on my nights out.