A CHANGE OF DIRECTION

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Photo: Kristin Bae Mysen

Recently I visited the great exhibition by the Swedish artist Jan Håfström (born 1937) at Bomuldsfabriken Kunsthall in Arendal in the southern part of Norway. I specially enjoyed this black statue of Mr. Walker who was walking in all directions. It reminded me of the fact that it is never too late to change directions in one’s life.

According to the artist himself the sculpture has two aspects, one which is mentioned above, but also the fact that when Jan Håfström was a child he enjoyed to read The Phantom comic strip. His father however fancied a good drink and went often out at nights. Then the creative mind of the little boy pictured that his dad actually was Mr. Walker who went out in the dark to make the world a better place.

In 2014 another Mr. Walker, a seven-meter statue, was put up in the railroad park close to the central train-station in Stockholm, Sweden. Seen from the north it is red, seen from the south it is blue. Mr Walker has always been a source of inspiration in Håfström’s artwork.

Listen to the interview with the artist here (Swedish only) and read the article about the incident here.

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