Piggy Darling, 2018
Polyurethane Foam, paint, textile
195 x 75 x 95 cm / 76 x 29 x 49 in
Gulliver the Bulldozer, 2018
Ceramic stoneware, paint
20 x 15 x 30 cm / 7 x 5 x 11 in
40 x 35 x 90 cm / 15 x 13 x 35 in
140 x 195 cm / 55 x 76 in
Polyurethane Foam, Paint
160 x 115 x 50 cm / 62 x 45 x 19 in
Linda Bäckström makes seductive spray foam sculptures that draw on the language of advertising and mass media in the tradition of Pop artists such as Claes Oldenburg and James Rosenquist. But where those artists investigated American identity largely through consumer culture, she has focused on the symbolism of the American Dream and the mythology around the hyper masculine figure of the cowboy/biker. One series of sculptures, for instance, featured the accoutrements of cult road movies such as Easy Rider and Vanishing Point, yet their soft tactility undermined any sense of macho heroism; a truncated, non-functional version of the Chopper, an isolated gear stick, a plump, rearing horse, suggesting that the freedom and power inherent in the dream may be illusory. More recently Bäckström has turned her attention to fairy tales and the natural world, both domains where innocence and danger converge. Alongside a tactile mountain of colourful candy animals recalling the story of Hansel and Gretel, she presented a monstrous gorilla paw, a pair of eagle’s talons, a chopping block, a shiny silver chain saw. Viewed together, these oversize, doughy sculptures offer a fantasy world that both delights and unnerves.
Bäckström was born in 1982 in Bomhus, Sweden. She trained in Fine Art at the Royal Institute of Art and Pernby School of Painting, both in Stockholm, and studied textiles at the School of Design and Crafts in Gothenburg. She has exhibited widely in Sweden - at the Wetterling Gallery, the Sven-Harrys Konstmuseum, the Katrineholm Konsthall and the Örnsköldsviks Konsthall & Museum, among others. In addition, she has also shown her work in Germany, Austria and the UK. She lives and works in Stockholm.