No one that know’s me would call me an art lover. I visit La Nit d’Art in Palma every year to support local businesses and to have a glass of wine with the artist to cheer their success.
I visited Guggenheim in Bilbao a couple of years ago and was really impressed with the outside area, the smoke and music show and different sculptures like the huge spider. The inside of the museum bored me though, and I was out again in 15 minutes. Outside the museum I found myself staring at the big dog made of flowers and I thought, we should have something similar in Palma. Later I read up that the dog is called Puppy and is one of the world’s most famous dogs. Something like that would be amazing to put in front of Palma’s Cathedral.
But back to Art and Artists, as this week I meet an artist I have not seen for a couple of years, the Swedish artist Peter Grondahl or P Grön. I was introduced to him, 5 years ago and at that time, I had an Art and Culture Association visiting from the south of Sweden in Mallorca, and they wanted to visit several Scandinavian artists working in Mallorca. The day of the appointment we took the bus to the address Peter had given me in a rough part of Palma.
With low expectations we all, local guide, art expert from Sweden, the guests and me, in total around 40 people, we walked in through a shabby garage door to what happened to be Peter’s private creative space and home. He happily showed the somewhat surprised group around. There where loads of different paintings in all shapes and sizes, his own designed clothes, computers, an old car and in the middle a huge model of a bronze statue that dominated the hole space. “The Frog catching a big fish”. Bizarre, fun, and unexpected for sure. The guests loved the host and his stories because to people in the scene and from the north, Peter is world famous – at least in Scandinavia.
Peters’ history in Mallorca started when he was invited by the owner of Puro Group in 2010 to create the Art profile of the hotel. It took him well over a year to do this and when his job was done in Puro, he decided to stay for a while and that was 11 years ago. A life crisis took 3 years of his Mallorcan life and until he came to a point where he was so exhausted, he had to sit down and accept what he was afraid of, that way he managed to embrace his fears. “After that I started to build the new me, and right now I am at a point where my own name feels totally alien to me,” says Peter.
He had a rough start in life, Peter was left in a hospital and did not have a family the first 4 years of his life. “I tried to get a confirmation in different ways, and when someone told me they liked my drawings, I continued, and practiced to get better and get more confirmation. Now, I think I just like to be creative, and if it turns out in form of a painting, photo, clothes design, book, movie script, or whatever is not important, I just like to create stuff.” He already wrote the book Minus Plus Equals in Swedish (2017) and after having it translated to English, he realised it did not make sense, so he rewrote the whole book and added another 160 pages. The book is made to help people feel better about themselves.
Through life experiences and his interest in humanism and human rights, Peter has written small stories and short chapters, which in an easily understandable and entertaining way, helps us to encounter our own lives. It is by no means a heavy philosophical book. This is a book that can lay on the table for you to read a page or two whenever you feel like it and carry it with you for the rest of the day or life. When you understand why you have become who you are, you can also change. Nothing just happens. Everything is a reaction from an action.