Jacob Dahlgren is a painter, sculptor and conceptual artist who mostly works with what everyday life has to offer and unconventional materials. Jacob finds abstraction in everything he sees, and employs the objects to create dynamic interactive installations and performances. When put together in his artworks, the individual objects lose their designated function, their original value, and become part of something completely new. Jacob is an amusing and visually entertaining artist, whose life unites with his art.
With each of his art pieces, Jacob Dahlgren shows us that daily day life contains material for art. He puts life experience into his work, reminding us that it is worth our while to look around us. The Swedish artist eats tinned food and makes cheerful coloured pieces of sculpture from the empty cans. Scales, packaging for meat stock, dartboards and crisp bread turn into art in his mind and hands. Looking at the dartboards, it is an amazing optical illusion as Jacob ensures that one can’t see what kind of objects are hanging on the wall until you come closer. In ‘I, the world, things, life’ there are pricked darts which you can take out of the boards and throw. And at the moment the viewer throws the arrow, he or she becomes part of the artwork and Jacob’s piece turns into an interactive creation. He is not shy of mixing up artforms and will not have any problems doing so. In the project ‘Heaven is a Place on Earth’ he carpeted a floor with red, white and blue scales. Apparently, the individual scales used in the piece are for sale at the Chelsea Art Museum for roughly 50 dollars apiece.
Conceptual art is a concept or idea inserted into the work, unraveling the traditional aesthetic and material concerns of the work itself. According to Sol LeWitt – an American artist linked to conceptual art – it is when the idea or concept becomes the most important aspect of the work. When an artist uses a conceptual art form, it means all of the planning and decisions are made beforehand and the execution is a perfunctory affair. The idea becomes a machine that makes the art. In a sense Jacob still continues the tradition of building something, as he reforms and refreshes the used objects and places them in the present-day context.
The Swedish innovator has really made something of himself, and what a joy it must be to recognise a piece of art in almost anything you set your eyes on! Jacob himself is quite fond of abstract figures and always wears a striped t-shirt near his work. He definitely puts his mind and soul into his art, which came up with a beautiful result.