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Swedish photographer Mats Bäcker had a flying start of his career taking the legendary black and white photo of Iggy Pop at Dad’s Dancehall in Kopenhagen in 1977. Thirty-five years later the photo of Iggy Pop showing the finger to the audience sold at a famous Swedish Auction House for 56.000 SEK (6.489 euro).
He is driven by a feeling of ”it will go to hell anyway” and says that ”when the entrepreneur goes in, the artist goes out”. The entrepreneur and artist seem to be like a swingdoor in constant movement in his life.
During the one hour lecture at the six fulldays course on art and entrepreneurship hosted by Kulturlyftet and performed by Nätverkstan, Mats Bäcker tells a wonderful success-story full of worries and disbelief; a constant force to develop his artistic skill and challenging his perception in trying new things; networking; and, as he puts it ”good luck and a good gene to endure disappointments”.
The last is, he points out, how to live on your art. The other is to recycle. The artistic work he did when he started as a pop- and rockart photographer is used again, in new settings and imagery. Later as a performance photographer at the Opera in Stockholm he developed new ways of taking photos of movement. All can be used again in new playful ways.
”Recylce, recycle, recycle” he says with emphasis looking over the audience of illustrators, photographers, designers, filmers, and visual artists, and, he points out, not trying to do everything but instead choose your artistic form and work hard on this.
Kulturlyftet is a large European educational project started by KRO/KIF (The Swedish Artists’ National Organization and Swedish Handicraftartists and Industrial Designers, my translation) with the aim of offering a range of educational initiatives for their members.
The project offers courses in areas such as Media and Communication, Pedagogics, Culture and Availability, and Project- and Process work with Art and Culture in Focus.
Nätverkstan is responsible the course Artistic Practice and Entrepreneurship together with Republic Consulting. Last Monday we started and around fifteen participants; illustrators, photographers, publishers, filmmakers, will gather once a week for six weeks in WIP Konsthall in Årsta to dig deep into entrepreneurship and how to live on your artistic practice. Exciting!
Kulturlyftet is run by KRO/KIF in cooperation with Svenska Fotografers Förbund (Association of Swedish Professional Photographers), Svenska Tecknare (Association of Swedish Illustrators and Graphic Designers), and Konstnärscentrum Öst. Their members are photographers, illustrators, graphic designers, visual artists, and artists within handicraft and industrial design.
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