Graffiti is coming in out of the cold – and into our workplaces!
Think graffiti and the first thing that strikes you is probably the image of a tube train covered in graffiti – not a hand-tufted rug for 4,000 euros.
Jonathan Josefsson, 35 years old, is a secure, father of two from the west coast of Sweden who likes quiet evenings at home, vegetarian food and medium-strong beer. But that is where any indication of normality ends. Jonathan – or Ollio which is his artist name – is one of the greatest graffiti stars of our time and is very much involved in establishing graffiti itself as an exciting art form.
Fifteen years ago, Jonathan lived an estranged life on the streets with his entire backpack full of spray cans when he was encouraged to apply for art school. After having the door slammed in his face everywhere he finally got tipped off by a friend that there were places left in a textile college. This was how it all started. Today, armed with a pressurised spray gun and with inspiration from fantasy magazines, he makes tufted rugs with abstract colours and pattern collisions which attract attention from the entire art world.
"Whether I have a spray can or a pressurised spray gun in my hand I still use roughly the same technique."
He began recently a prestigious partnership with the carpet manufacturer Kasthall which has resulted in 20 unique rugs. The buyers are hospitals, schools and companies looking for a modern contemporary profile. But in spite of all the success, Jonathan will never give up painting graffiti:
"It is a democratic right to paint, and all cities should provide legal graffiti walls."
From graffiti painter to artist. Jonathan Josefsson has made it big.
Jonathan Josefsson's Olliorug for Kasthall.