Interview with L.A. artist Jenny Sandersson (English)

From March 24 to April 24 2016, we will host Swedish-American artist Jenny Sandersson's first art show in Germany. Our contributor Wenke Vendt met Jenny in Berlin and asked her some questions about her way into the arts and living in Los Angeles.

Wenke Vendt: How did you come to art, or how did art come to you?

Jenny Sandersson: I have been surrounded by art ever since I was a kid, because my mother did a lot of painting and made jewelry. We sometimes painted together, and she was the first person who saw my talent and passion for art - she is still my biggest fan to this day. But although she encouraged me to get more involved, I didn't do anything until I was 25.

What brought you back to painting?

As a professional hairdresser, I know a lot about colors, shapes, balance, textures and structures and always loved to work creatively in this field. I have never been a „connoisseur of the arts“, neither have I been visiting many art shows. During my traineeship at the Toni & Guy Academy in London, I was able to watch the world's best hairdressers doing their amazing work – that was purely artistic to me. Inspired by this, it was an instant decision to change the medium from hair to canvas and restart painting. But anyway, it was still just a hobby and some kind of therapy to come down and relax, I was unconfident and didn't consider myself an artist. I sold some paintings, though, but I kept wondering: „What? Somebody paid for that?“

In 2011, you moved from Sweden to Los Angeles together with your boyfriend, Hollywood movie star Dolph Lundgren. How did that influence your art?

After moving to L.A., I suddenly had very much freetime because I wasn't working as a hairdresser anymore. I painted a lot, mostly in our backyard in Beverly Hills, and I also took several art courses. In the first year, living in the "glamour world" wasn't quite easy. Somehow, I have only been the woman at Dolph Lundgren's side and there was a lot of gossip, but nobody ever asked who I really was, and even I almost no longer knew. I tried many things to figure that out, f.e. I went to film school and dealt with photography, but painting remained my main interest and so I moved into my own studio apartment in Downtown Los Angeles. Dolph was my biggest source of confidence, he gave me strength and really pushed me further when I was struggling and didn't feel good enough as an artist. Confidence also came when people saw my talent and appreciated my work.

So when was your first art exhibition?

That was back in 2013 when Dolph and I went to South Africa to film a TV series there. I had great expectations, but the production turned out to be very bad with terrible producers. Really disappointing. To make matters worse, Dolph had to go to Bulgaria to shoot „The Expendables 3“, and I didn't want to be in South Africa for nothing – so I made the best of the situation, bought some canvases and started painting. The art show took place in a great hotel and was well received. That made me very proud.

What about the Los Angeles art scene?

With a little help from a friend of Dolph's, I had a succesful exhibition at Imperial Art Studios in Downtown L.A.'s Arts District, a vibrant and fast-rising area for contemporary art. That's where I met German artist Peter Lindenberg, who gave me the great opportunity to come to Berlin. We will open our joint art show „SATURATED KAOS“ on Thursday, March 24, at KUNSTRAUM F 200 in Friedrichstraße with the support of Evelyn Sommerhoff, Ina Lindemann and Volker Nikel.

Do you have a vision of what your artistic future could look like in L.A.?

Yes! I will work on some planned art projects as soon as I get back to Los Angeles, to get more involved into the art scene and to find my niche to be taken serious as a full-time artist. I feel like I am finally on the right track with the art that I am doing and I am curious where this will take me.