Ville Andersson’s work has remained surprisingly consistent to this day, despite the various forms that it takes. Steeped in sophistication, the young Fin’s work exudes the atmosphere of the Dark Romantic and Symbolist artists of the late nineteenth century. There is a certain ennui but the pictures also contain psychological violence and tension and reveal a penchant for the obscure as well as for a beauty that is marred, sick or in decline. It may be no coincidence that photography was experiencing its first popularity during the aforementioned period.
Andersson’s projects are informed by a number of keywords that he explores in depth. A framework is thus created in which the artist works out his themes using the power of association. He does not limit himself to one medium: his series comprise photographs, drawings, paintings, prints and small sculptures. One should not be surprised by how pictorial a lot of his photographic work is since Andersson studied painting and photography concurrently. The type of presentation is always subordinate to the concept of the work. The final work often has narrative features, but it is the viewer who must weave their own story based on the clues provided.
The recent series “As Always, I Withdraw Into The Music“ is an excellent example: the point of departure was obviously “white”: both the synthesis of all colours, the absolute non-colour and the foundation of culturally very different ideas and symbolism. A lot of these works were cleverly executed. There is a detailed drawing of a tree against a pure white backdrop with only three lines of perspective to suggest spatiality: the piece aims to stimulate the viewer’s imagination to create their own habitat for the tree, a bit like the Japanese philosophy of nothingness.
One of Andersson’s repeated motifs – which can be seen here – is that of pleated fabric in the form of garments, curtains or draperies. In some of the drawings and prints, they delineate a doorway or view, suggesting mystery. In others, they seem to be floating freely in an indefinable space. In still others, they envelope figures and evoke late Gothic art. Andersson is indeed a cultural glutton and all too often can be found juggling numerous references to art genres, movements, artists, authors and artworks. In the universe of refined aesthetes such as, say, Jean Des Esseintes, this is, of course, a revelatory gesture.