Last summer during a visit to Sweden’s national orienteering competition, which was held in Halmstad, I wandered into a building that had been rented out by an artist named Peter Wahlbeck. His stuff was wild and crazy and definitely not decorative art. I loved it. We began chatting and had an enjoyable conversation.
Fast forward to December and I found out that Peter Wahlbeck is a well known comedian in Sweden, has had TV shows, been in movies, has more than 5,000 friends on Facebook and was opening his own art gallery here in town. The date of his opening was 12 minutes after 12 noon on the 12th of December 2012.
The Saturday after his opening I wandered in there to see the gallery and he remembered me immediately from our meeting in July. Later I sent him a link to some of my art on http://www.fineartamerica.com and one thing led to another. This afternoon we firmed up a project to do this spring and will be moving ahead with it starting asap. Over the holidays I did a trial painting of him and brought to him today to show. He loved it and immediately placed it in the front window of his gallery.
The colors here aren’t the greatest but what can you expect from a cell phone. Here is another shot showing a little more of the gallery.
Finally, a shot showing Peter posed with the painting.
We plan to do several of him in his different personas of comedian, radio personality, actor, vegetarian, spiritual traveler, etc. Will they sell? Who the hell knows. But it will force me into exploring an aspect of portraiture that I have been thinking about for some years. At the very least, it will be a learning experience and a lot of fun. Besides, this guy is very well known. I have to meet anyone who does not know who he is. So, it will at a minimum be good publicity. Stay tuned.