photography Sandra Myhrberg

makeup & hair Alicia Hurst

Psychedelio in The Den of Wolves, 2024

Issa Salliander and Den Of Wolves

Written by Rosel Jackson Stern by Sandra Myhrberg

The game development company 10 Chambers has partnered with Mexico-based Swedish artist Issa Salander to create new work for their upcoming title Den Of Wolves. Issa has produced a series of physical paintings to inspire the game in a collaboration between fine art and digital world-building. The paintings feature a series of character masks, some of which will be featured in the game Den Of Wolves. The idea is to honour the physical craft of storytelling with game development. This is the company's first of many collaborations with creatives ranging from dancers to choreographers and fashion designers.
Odalisque caught up with Issa this Wednesday at Ericssonhallen in Stockholm, where her work is installed 8-9th of May.

Rosel: What has been the process of developing these images? Where do you get inspiration from?
Issa: I’ve grown up in many different places. Right now I’m in Mexico and spent a total of 12 years there. It’s a beautiful and surreal place, full of contradiction. The contrast between light and dark, good and evil is an important part of what inspires me. I like to create work that lies in the spectrum between what society considers opposites to each other.
I start by creating a digital collage for each painting so that the piece has a frame of reference. One piece features the hair of Andy Warhol, a Second World War gas mask with a gold-plated mask underneath.

R: You come from a fine art background. What appealed to you about collaborating with a gaming company?
I: I enjoy a challenge and the chance to develop my practice. This project was an opportunity to see things from a different perspective. In fine art, we talk about the artist, the work, and the viewer. With this project, there’s a fourth actor: the user. That’s a novel concept for me and I want to incorporate new experiences and points of view in my work.
I was never interested in AI art. When I was approached with this idea, it felt like a push beyond the limitations of AI; I got to make the work I wanted and have it introduced into a digital world by extremely talented artists. It’s incredibly exciting.

R: What’s it like to hand over your work to be interpreted by others, in this case, game designers?
I: It’s nerve-racking but deeply inspiring. Game designers are artists and they possess skills that I admire. I’ve always loved gaming aesthetics so this project felt like a no-brainer. 10 Chambers has given me the space to come up with my vision and total creative freedom.

R: What do you hope fellow artists can take away from this project?
I: I hope it broadens their horizons to what commercial partnerships can look like. I hope companies invest in artists while giving them the freedom to create. Partnerships like this can open up your work to a new audience and the opportunity to play in their world. 10 Chambers have been generous enough to surrender artistic control to be inspired. That’s how we end up with something beautiful.

Den Of Wolves does not yet have a release date.

Psychedelio in The Den of Wolves, 2024
Writ of Detinue on The Den of Wolves, 2024
photography Sandra Myhrberg

makeup & hair Alicia Hurst

Spiel mit Mir in the Den of Wolves, 2024