This publication explores the fascinating world of Franco-Swedish artist Rebecka Tollens: Inspired by her own dreams, these lead pencil drawings conjure a troubled atmosphere intermingling themes of Nordic mysticism, sorority and childhood. The publication highlights a series devoted to the Sami people from the Far North.
Published on the occasion of the eponymous exhibition at Arts Factory, Paris, from May 3 to June 16, 2018.
Rebecka Tollens (born 1990 in Stockholm, lives and works in Paris), a French-Swedish artist whose work reveals a real maturity of approach while hinting at the atypical course of her early life. Rebecka long had ambitions for a career in international law and human rights. She participated in a humanitarian mission in Ghana and took a road trip across South America before deciding to study illustration in Paris. Discontent with the inculcation of certain rigid ideas in the academic environment, Rebecka soon developed her own projects, creating album covers for compatriots Say Lou Lou, collaborating with Danish musician Lisa Alma, Aurora and Grand Blanc.
An internship at the Arts Factory gallery in 2013 gave Rebecka the opportunity to meet founders Effi Mild and Laurent Zorzin. These resolute headhunters of the contemporary graphic arts scene quickly recognised something unique in Rebecka's work, and encouraged her to set aside her illustration practice to develop a more personal approach to the themes and the style of her drawing
. As ideas emerged and intensified and Rebecka sketched unceasingly, the need for an exhibition became evident to the gallery owners, even though Rebecka was still a student, completing a Master degree at Ecole de Condé.
Her works evokes a coming-of-age of feminine desire
through several series of autobiographical drawings. From childhood
estrangement to volatile men, Rebecka Tollens shows us a clear and uncompromising view of her education, her sexual awakening and various love affairs. This is daily life—the painful and the comical—seen through a resolutely feminist
lens. One night stands and surreal family dinners appear amongst dreamlike Scandinavian
landscapes reminiscent of those from the artist's youth, created with graphite on paper and an intuitive sense of composition.
Laurent Zorzin, Arts Factory