Both. Both the renaissance window to look through (Leon Battista Alberti), and something to look at. The surface. Like my window – my eyes, through which I see my surroundings and the world I have familiarized myself with since I was a child – has never had a clear view when it came to complete thoughts. A clouded view in a world where words, to me, never mean what the world of grown-ups claim they do. I have rarely seen, or felt for that matter, what I sometimes think is expected of me. I was in school, as a child, and did not understand. Did not grasp why I should know what I thought I was expected to know. I started lying. To play a game in a somewhat charming spirit. A game in order for me to, on my own terms get through a system that had already been chosen without my involvement.
To stop lying is hard for me. But when I look through, and at, my window, my canvas, my experiences fit. On my own terms. And everything that I don’t agree with, in terms of systems, untruthfulness and the lies of others, fits there. On my own terms, like I choose. My window might seem clouded and some may call it romantic. But I don’t want to live my life unromantically. I am, to me, enigmatically caught in the contemporary. In a time I don’t want to agree with. Out of time, into space.
My view may look nostalgic. But to me it’s not about a sentimental, nostalgic yearning. To me, the time in my paintings is interesting because it takes me away and remains therefore a superficial convention of today’s appearances, with which I don’t agree. To me, this convention of the limiting contemporary, is at the same time a bright, superficial and bluntly simplified reading of what appearance can be, without it necessarily becoming superficial.
I stand here and paint, by my window with an infinite number of views through time, and in constant demand of my attention are the contemporary and my doubts. And I ask myself once again, “why make art when merely the dream is so sweet”. But my view lies there in front of me, and I feel like writing it down with a brush. At the very least to register it.
/ Lucas Rahn, Stockholm
Lucas Rahn (b. 1980) lives and works in Stockholm. He graduated from the Royal Institute of Art in 2011. This is his second exhibition at Christian Larsen.