Monday, February 2, 2009

Life in Sweden - Subway Art

Normally with public art in Stockholm, I have pretty low expectations. Take this hideosity from our local subway stop:

No, that is not graffiti done by some deranged person. That was actually designed to be there (gouged into the wall) by a professional. And I get to stare at it every day.

But on Sunday, we went to dinner at our friends' place in a suburb of Stockholm, and I was reminded of how fun the artwork is at the Solna Centrum stop. Check this out: 

The White House!! It's towering menacingly over little Swedish cottages! 

...Yeah, I dunno what it all means. Probably something anti-American, though it's hard to say definitively. There's also a military helicopter to the left, and a scene with soldiers planting a flag on the horizon to the rightà la Iwo Jima, but the lighting wasn't very good. It's all in a display case:

Jan claimed that the cottages are supposed to represent protesters. I'm all for artwork that gives you something to ponder as you wait for the train...

...kind of like this, also at the same station:

Yup, giant plastic (resin?) moose. On the left, there's a dilapidated shack with a sign for Konsum, a grocery chain. (?!) As a friend pointed out, it's particularly impressive that the graffiti isn't limited to the outside of the case--that's some pretty determined tagging right there.

There's a similarly wacky subway stop at Kungsträdgården, I'll take some pics the next time I'm there (which is admittedly almost never)...'


  1. Hi Linas,

    I love that your profile includes your parrot : ) Sounds like you have a very interesting life! I was in Stockholm a few years ago to teach a parrot training seminar hosted by veterinarian Gunnel Anderson. Too bad I missed meeting you.

    Barbara Heidenreich

  2. OMG, Barbara, I'm so honored to have you comment here! I'm a big fan of your work, and I eagerly await Wings & Things podcasts every week.

    Be sure to let me know the next time you're in town (I noticed your upcoming European "tour" won't include Sweden, sadly)...

  3. Kungsträdgården outwacks Solna by a good ways. Mostly just for the sheer size of the wackiness though.

    We saw a great sign at Gullmarsplan that you must take a photo of. Something with pink and hink, Or was it kiss and miss? Or pink and stink? Well, you get the idea. The husband immediately thought of you when we saw it, complete with little icon.