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Beach Meets : Ekta

Beach Meets : Ekta

Based in Gothenburg, Sweden, Street Artist, Fine Artist and Illustrator Ekta has captured the attention of many, with his brightly coloured, abstract shapes. He produces large scale paintings and installations all over the world. We’re very excited to announce that we will be showcasing Ekta’s work here at Beach in October!

We catch up with him to talk about travelling, self-publishing and what he’s got planned next.

Hey Ekta! You seem to be travelling a lot! What have you been up to recently and where have you been?

Since last summer I’ve been on parental leave with my youngest so I’ve not been traveling that much, got a pretty intense summer coming up though. The past couple of months I’ve been with my kids during the day and only worked a couple of evenings a week in the studio, this obviously had an effect on my work. When you spend every day with your kids its difficult to get involved with stuff that takes alot of energy, like painting canvases. Instead I’ve been making really quick works on paper, like drawings / collages and sculptures. Now that the sun is back I’ve been going out more to paint, in the winter months I usually stay in the studio.

Your new book on Otto Press is being launched in London in July. Quite a few Ekta books have passed through Beach over the years!

What keeps you coming back to Self-publishing and working with Publishers? 

I love books! It’s pretty much the only thing I still consume/buy. I used to by records but lost interest in that a few years ago. I did zines as a kid and sold to my neighbours, my mum saved a copy of every single one I put out. I like what happens to the work when you put it in a book, how it reads, if you have two images in a spread something usually happens. Each image can obviously stand on their own but something else appears when you place one image next to another. I’m really excited about the 2 books on Otto Press, it’s sometimes better when you’re not doing the editing and lay-out yourself. Peter who runs Otto Press did an amazing job with that and it brings new quality to the work. I spend alot of time with sketchbooks and I end up with loads of stuff that I can’t really do anything with, some of that material end up in fanzines and small press stuff.

Your work in the streets (and your gallery/sculptural work) is very free; it’s seems to sprawl out and not be determined by the space it’s in – how does this differ when you’re working on something a little more restrictive like paper?

I think I have the same kind of approach, I rarely plan things out and smaller works on paper is good for trying out new things out and messing about. I’ve been doing alot of collages recently, if I do a coupke of drawings that don’t really work out I can cut them up and start to put them together again until I find something I like. Having that option helps to relax and avoid frustration when Im drawing, It’s very rare that I get fucked off with drawing these days, It’s got a positive effect on my work!

Which artists are you feeling at the moment? Who do you paint with on a regular basis?

Been painting alot recently with Eric Magassa (www.magassa.com) who is also based in Gothenburg. We first worked together about 2 months ago and it felt right from the start! Erosie (erosie.net) from Holland came to visit a while back and painting with him was a really cool experience too. I paint on a more regular basis with Ollio (ollio.tumblr.com), we met when I moved back to Sweden in 2005 and we’ve been doing projects and walls together ever since. Some other artists that I like: Arp / Dem / 108 / Alfano / 3ttman / Bang / Roger Risberg / Jean Dubuffet / Philip Guston / Max Ernst / Eltono / Graphic Surgery and the list goes on….

What’s coming up for you?

Right now I’m working on a big commission for a hospital up north, I’m also I’m preparing work for exhibitions and doing sketchbook stuff to have ideas for walls that I’ll paint this summer. As for traveling I’ll be in Holland / London / Mexico and hopefully Russia this ummer. Besides that I’m trying to make time to go out painting walls in and around Gothenburg.

Give us 5 things you like to do outside of doing sweet arts…

Apart from hanging out with my family I like to spend time in book shops and the antiquary. Im kind of boring I guess, If I have a couple of hours to myself I usually go to the studio or maybe to check out an exhibition. Skateboarding was a huge part of my life for years, my son is getting into it so maybe he can help me back rollin’

Give us your Top 5 places to travel to and tell us something we might not know about those places.

London – I was in London for 9 years and it will always be my favourite city, there’s so many places I like to visit when I’m there but I would say Abney Park Cemetary is a pretty cool spot. After that, a Shaka Dance.

Madrid – Have some Gin at Bar Cock or a drink at any of the old Vermouth bars.

Copenhagen – Spend the night on a roof in Christiania

Northern Ireland – A walk up Warren Point and when back down again a drink in ‘The Ship’

Falkenberg – It’s where I spent my first 18 years and I both hate and love the place. If you ever end up there though make sure you go to the place where the Suse-river meets the sea.

For queries or a catalogue of available artworks please contact charlie@beachlondon.co.uk