Part of the anthology "Studio Talks:Thinking Through Painting", 2014

Are you a painter because you paint or do you paint because you are a painter?
Lina Bjerneld

Are you a painter because you paint or do you paint because you are a painter? (Krister Paleologos)

Sometimes the questions are more important than the answers. I asked a number of people to ask me something about my artistic practice.

What is the biggest misconception about painting? (Carl Palm)

Mostly I think that the criticism that painting receives is relevant and interesting. Misunderstanding something can also mean that you have understood something, that the misunderstanding holds truth. Lots of people speak of the aura that painting per se has in it’s authenticity, and question the purpose of making yet another object in a society of galloping consumption. Painting is so strongly associated to art, regardless of what it is or represents; it is already art. If one is engaged in questions about what art can be, then painting is an obtuse medium to use. Other media are much more efficient. I am the doer, the painter, and all the questions that painting evokes are brought to the surface in the working process. By continuing to paint I answer the questions, even if the answer is that painting is incapable of carrying itself, carrying the burden of art.
To speak about painting is to constantly bump into obstacles. As soon as a discussion about painting crops up the answers seem to arise by default, and the questions and demands for answers grows.(?) It could be about the idea that painting is an answer in itself. And that few painters talk about painting. With painting, there is a collapse between talking and doing(making).
As far as I know no other medium provides so much control from beginning to end, and that is what makes painting so unique as a medium. There is no place to sit back, you constantly have to take decisions about the image and every choice is significant. It is about creating a situation where all intentions are weighed insomuch as no gesture gets lost. When we experience or see the world around us we discover that everything has a meaning. The anguish that comes from nothing being meaningless has in painting a unique possibility of being described visually, since painting is built up in the same way: it starts from nothing and everything is up to you.

What about the intriguing relation of the figurative motifs – soaked with metaphor – and your attitude towards the reality of material and space? (Hinrich Sachs)

By paying more attention to what is going on between the individual parts we have a good starting point in order to see the complexities of a larger visual field and also how material and rooms (space) can manifest themselves as bearers of information. All the parts, the periphery and the centre (central), create a larger image, a kind of matrix. It is a balancing act, a pendulum movement, and from there I proceed from my own intuitive movement among the great number of alternatives before me and one alternative is absolute figuration. Figuration is complicated since it marks reality. For example: we are so trained in seeing faces, it’s in our spines, if I paint the corner of the mouth on one side upwards the entire image changes. You can mess with it, fiddling with the corners of mouths, and (but) I don’t let that kind of activity become important. My practice is more
about energy. Figuration has to take its place with the same conditions as any other part of the work.

What does the concept “outlaw” mean to you? (Cecilia Widenheim)

I associate an outlaw not only with someone who stands outside the law, outside defined rules, but also as a coyote, a hermit. I am curious as to why you are asking the question. In many of my works I describe that kind of a person, which is a reflection of my own point of departure in the world, that I am, solitaire.

Can you think about one of your not yet completed works and complete it before us, here and now? (Carl Palm)

I could never complete a work in my mind because I cannot imagine it. The paintings appear in the doing. But there is a relatively concrete work that I never made because of its vastness. It was a kind of aeroplane body that I wanted to build. I would sit in the cockpit and forge it into buildings so to speak , not to break them. But if we take Moderna Museet for example, imagine that the entire entrance opened up so that an aeroplane could fit and I would slowly push my way in, perhaps drive in and out, in and out.