2020 is on its way out of our collective memory, though not without fully overhauling life as we’ve known it. At The CAMP, we kicked the year off by starting from scratch, adding new and wildly talented artists to our darling roster (i.e., making loads of new friends), partnering with FAMA for a 40-artist exhibition, leaving our Little River home and setting up shop in North Miami, and even the launch of a brand-new virtual gallery with the help of Emperia, UK.
Which made us curious—how has the unruly intensity of the new decade impacted those we work closest with?
In the spirit of growth and community, we bring you The CAMP’s 2020 Roundup, a small interview series featuring reflections from our CAMP and CAMP Spotlight artists.
Johnny Ramstedt. NBR 453. Memory Game, 2020. House paint and acrylic on canvas. 160 x 160 cm.
Finnish CAMP Spotlight artist Johnny Ramstedt wants audiences to feel a blend of attraction and confusion, creating pieces that are as deconstructed as they are deeply personal to the artist. Paintings like NBR 453. Memory Game and NBR 157. Present Reality, Just Floating reflect a patchwork of reality, and though there is no distinct figure for one to fixate on, their meanings are just as multifaceted, as if they were acting as portraits of abstracted existence. “The art is created after many inner thoughts and developments in the mind, the outcome is free and natural. In the creative process it is what comes out randomly that allows the freedom but is also a challenge for the feeling.” On this note, Ramstedt’s use of house paint furthers this, mirroring the labor required to not just create, but be.
For more about Johnny Ramstedt’s creative process, you can check out our CAMP Conversation with Ramstedt, where he talks about his creative process and inspirations with CAMP Creative and social media maven Mario Rodriguez.
2020 has been a difficult and often tumultuous year - how has it affected you and your artwork?
Early this year, 2020, I started a new series called Patchwork Series: large scale Monochrome paintings, mainly black and red. Very powerful images. However, as this situation is what it is, I felt that I need to get the fun back in what I am doing. And this I did with my new Urban Poetry series, where I pretty much use many colors, text and scribble. Just having super fun in the studio.
What has been the biggest hurdle you have had to deal with since March of this year?
Missing all the Live exhibitions and show openings.
Have you noticed any changes in your work?
I have started to use more color and more “action” in my works, as I miss the real life “action".
Have you noticed any changes in how people react and or engage with your work now that they can see it mainly online?
At some point people ask questions and interact with you online, but at some point that stops as well, as people have seen your work online and have nothing new to ask or comment.
What has been the best thing that has happened this year?
Working in the studio
Has anything surprised you this year?
At first yes, everything about Covid, but now, I guess nothing will surprise me anymore this year….. :)
Johnny Ramstedt. NBR 278. Flowing and Working through Life’s Great Challenges, 2020. House paint and acrylic on canvas. 190 x 170 cm.
What inspires you currently? Do you see this changing?
As I started this new Urban Poetry series, I am super excited every morning to get up and get to the studio and continue working.
Is there anything that quarantine/isolation has inspired you to start doing or practicing?
Spending more time than before working out.
How does your process differ now that we’re all spending less time out “in the world” and more time with ourselves?
I guess it gives us more time to spend with the loved ones close to you. We have more time to listen and talk to those close to you.
How do you see this moment in time affecting the bigger industry in the long-term?
It will take some time to get back on track and before people start to travel and fly to business meetings as we have been used to online meetings etc.
Do you have any New Year’s Resolutions?
Not really :)
Johnny Ramstedt. NBR 157. Present Reality, Just Floating, 2020. House paint and acrylic on canvas. 160 x 140 cm.