Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Signs of the Times?

Jealousy, 2010
Oil on board, 61 x 81 cm
double click to enlarge

I painted this rather violent work as an expression of my despair at the rapid increase in violent crime, especially among the youth in our society. Non more so than in Sweden, where to the rest of the world, the country is portrayed for its: cleanliness, diplomacy, low crime rate, and high standard of living.

Unfortunately this is not exactly true. I live in Göteborg, and one has only, for example, to walk around the city in the early hours of Sunday morning to see the broken glass, litter, and graffiti that has accumulated during the evening and overnight hours of any Friday or Saturday.

Not to mention the scum that use the main social thoroughfare, The Avenue, as a public urinal during the hours when bars and clubs are open, regardless of whom may be passing by, and often in clear view of stationary police vehicles.
Before I moved to my present location, I lived in the Haga. It was common (and probably still is) to see women squatting, knickers down to their ankles in the doorways, unashamedly urinating.

Sign of the times?

Places during the summer months that you can guarantee to be cleansed frequently in Göteborg are those visited by tourists, such as the Haga area which is the oldest part of the town and a big attraction, though why, I have yet to fathom.

Graffiti is washed from the walls, so is unseen by the visiting Germans, Brits,and Danes etc. Fortunately for local government, they do not venture to areas in the town as far afield as Angered or Kortedala.

The crime rate is rising constantly. One only has to read the local rag, the GT, or the national Aftonbladet to read of the ever increasing number of rapes, murders, muggings, and store robberies to see the problem nationwide.

The painting depicts (from my imagination) something that happened not so long ago in the town, and was told to me by an acquaintance who had known the victim.

That friend had also been the victim of local crime, when her boyfriend was shot and murdered in one of the city's suburbs. No arrests have been made, and as it was a gang relate crime, police have been met with silence when questioning possible witnesses.

The painting was to be auctioned at a local function next month, but due to a contractual disagreement with the organisers, will not now go ahead.


  1. Ronnie O'Sullivan6 January 2010 at 10:36

    Brilliant painting Will!

  2. I agree totally!

  3. Thank you both for your kind accolades. They are much appreciated

  4. Sign of the times indeed! Shame the original intent will not go where it was meant to!

  5. Yes, anonymous; it's a shame, and the organisers should realise that this depicts all that they are trying to eradicate. No better example exists, or will be executed.

  6. But I think i have seen this painting somewhere before in the Uk maybe. Did you exhibit it? It somehow feels familiar and it is really good.