Ekta - In Conversation Posted on 16 Mar 14:52

We have been huge admirers of Ekta’s wall paintings for a long time and invited him to make a series of prints that are challenging and full of energy. Here, Yuck’s owner Mark, asks some questions to the Swedish contemporary artist.

Can you tell us more about the two works you made for Yuck?

When I started working on the prints I had just finished a series of collage works for a show at Mini Galerie in Amsterdam with Eric Magassa and the direction he was taking his work kind of got me wanting to move a little bit more towards figuration. I applied a similar method making the prints as I had making my works for that exhibition, It’s vinyl collage on paper. I work a lot with collage as it fits my way of constructing images, I normally don’t have a theme or specific thing in mind when I start I just decide on a material and begin to build something up. I often don’t know what I’m looking for until it starts to reveal itself, at that point I can make some more aware decisions about where to take it. It’s a matter of adding and removing.

   

Risograph printing has several restrictions (size, number of colours available, registration etc) – creatively, did you see this as a negative or a positive challenge? 

For me restrictions is great, less alternatives help to have a more intuitive process. As for printing I really like to just hand the work over to someone that knows about it and is passionate, to have them add to the work. In this case the outcome was super good and I think they work better than the originals.

Colour can be seen in different ways and is possibly the most relative medium in art; it seems to play an important part in your work - do you often have a clear idea in terms of colour before you start a piece or does it change as you progress? 

I don’t think I have a very clear idea of colour in advance. For sure not when painting outside walls and in the studio I tend to grab what’s at hand and start adding colours as I go along. Painting for example a canvas is much harder for me than a wall and I think I tend to work with fewer colours in the studio to try and make it just a little bit less hard. I think the colours in my work changed in the last years and I have grown more confident in using them

  

What inspires you day to day? Do you feel the need to source inspiration to produce work or is it more practical and since you make some work outdoors does your immediate environment affect your work? 

I just need to work, practical work. I don’t know what I want and just have to keep trying to find it by failing over and over again. I can for short periods be in the middle of something that I feel is of interest to me and that there’s a few different paths to explore but after a while I feel constrained and start to look for a way out. I get a lot of energy and inspiration from painting outdoors, in the past year I have been trying to bring that process into the studio and failed completely with every attempt. It’s a struggle but not without it’s benefits. I find inspiration through work, most times it’s not really there but it happens often enough for me to keep returning to the studio.

What question would you like to ask me?

What makes a great print?

Originality is probably the most important factor for me – this can be in both its conception and execution. It is important that it’s made without considering anybody else, then combining this with a printing process that suits the artwork. A great print is one that draws you to it straight away (without needing more information), keeps you going back for more and is timeless, not part of a trend. One thing I don’t think constitutes a great print is monetary value; a high cost of a print does not make it good.

What is next for you? What are you working on now?

Right now I’m working on paintings for a group exhibition with Mattia Lullini and Eltono at the NEVVEN gallery here in Gothenburg. Besides that I’m working on a fanzine and trying to paint outdoors again after 2 cold months in the studio. For the past 2 months I’ve also been working as a curator for a mural festival that will open in April in the city of Trollhättan.

Buy Ekta's prints here