Mikael Nilsson, Linköping, born 1972
Carved wooden figures with expressions
Each character is unique with its own identity and its own arrogant stance.
Woodcarver Mikael Nilsson has cut up his figures in professional scale since 1996. Black Birds is his favorite contemporary sculpture.
Mikael Nilsson carves animals and humans with sharp knife. Features sharpened to almost caricature-like figures in miniature. Here I see both humor and sadness in the lines and shape.
Weight Loose horses
- I like to get different expressions and varying them from one figure to the other. Right now I sell mostly crows and ravens.
With the knife he shapes elegant magpies, ravens cocky with vulture neck and the occasional puffy yellow chicken. Absurdly long-legged horses or springy proud, weightless horses flying leap.
In the workshop in Linkoping Mikael also creates calm black moose. Tall, slim men and red fairytale-like gnomes. Coloured elk with large mules. Old men bureaucrats dressed in black with pale faces.
What is your favorite character?
- The crow and the raven.
You said to have made your Swedish moose "Odjuret (Beast)" for 30 000 copies. How did you cope?
- I've been at it for 14 years and it was my first product and was very happy that so many wanted to buy it and that I could make money on the figure. Then I sat for 10 hours a day and cut and suffered tennis elbow. Sure, it was monotonous at first because everyone wanted the Beast. If I had known there would be so many, maybe I had stopped with this figure.
How have you evolved from Beast to 2011?
- I still have some of the first beasts and some were inferior than the latter, but they also have their charm. Today, I work more with ax and coarser forms and shapes.
Do you have any role models?
Döderhultar'n, and some other wood sculptors, but they are not so well known in Sweden. I'm very inspired by nature and people I see in town.
Source: Corren.se 2011-09-29
Through August 25
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