This summer, the Swedish street art organization Artscape joined the city of Gothenburg to help the city celebrate its 400th anniversary. American artist Max Sansing created the eighth and final mural ‘Sweet Freedom’, which made its first mark on European soil.
In recent years, Sansing has become one of the USA’s most prominent urban artists who has seamlessly mixed its roots in graffiti with classic figurative oil painting aesthetics and strong symbolism. His colorful expression, often with portraits of young black people, has now found its way to the Biskopsgården district, located in the public sports hall at one of the local primary schools.
“Being able to invite Max Sansing feels fantastic. He is a politically conscious artist who combines symbolism, realism and expressive colors in a truly inspiring way and that will put Biskopsgården on the international art scene “, says Daniel Wakeham, one of Artscape’s founders.
Max Sansing received his informal education on the Chicago graffiti scene and has since graduated from the American Institute of Art. Apart from his murals, he has shown work in galleries from Washington to Miami. For ‘Sweet Freedom’, Sansing took inspiration from both Swedish nature and the Ghanaian expression Sankofa, which roughly translated to connect to your past for wisdom.
The mural was made possible by a generous contribution from the Sten A Olsson Foundation for Culture and Science. The art Artscape produces is free and accessible to all and through art their goal is to include and inspire. Our hope is that this joint effort will contribute to creating a feeling of pride and positive identity in Biskopsgården, ”comments Madeleine Olsson, Chairman of the Board.
“Biskopsgården is an area where hardly any of the events around the 400th anniversary take place. A large and impressive work of art in the neighborhood can both provide new visitors and emphasize a sense of community in the area. We are really grateful for the support from the Stone Foundation that makes this mural possible, ”adds Tor Hedendahl, one of the founders of Artscape.
The three-storey artwork was completed in September and was the latest piece in the region’s ever-growing collection of international street art. Before he went home, Sansing praised the Swedish work environment for how free he was to follow his creative intuition. “I did not even have to show a sketch and could figure things out when I went. I kind of want to take this mural home with me. It was something special. ”