A Swedish painter’s colourful, poignant studies of home, life and loneliness

“Colours are like food to me. They all taste different. Some are sweet, others salty. A colour in the right spot in the right environment makes me want to lick it or chew it!” -Frida Hultcrantz

So said Helsinki-based Swedish painter Frida Hultcrantz recently of her work and process. The artist addresses themes of loneliness and being an outsider in poignant photo-real paintings, often of women and home, often using blocks of strong colours.

My Private Memorial by Frida Hultcrantz

There’s an eeriness and humour present in her paintings of homes and interiors. Traditional clapboard Scandinavian houses feature reflections in the dark windows or have curtains fully drawn to make the viewer feeling as unwelcome as a passer by might – the paintings have names such as Keep on Walking and Stay Right Where You Are. Domestic rooms are mostly devoid of humans, though a rumple in the bed sheets suggests presence. From Frida’s Undercover project a series of females hide under richly coloured veils and in one – Shall We Eat? – the subject slumps over a kitchen chair, stirring up feelings of tired mornings when life seems too much. Meanwhile, a painting of a women’s legs beneath a huge lifted skirt entitled Fantastic! is as joyous as the splendid spectrum of colours that the artist employs throughout all of her work.

Door is Locked by Frida Hultcrantz

Fantastic! by Frida Hultcrantz

Personal Luxury by Frida Hultcrantz

Shall We Eat? by Frida Hultcrantz

Stay Right Where You Are by Frida Hultcrantz

Blue Room by Frida Hultcrantz


Jill Macnair


Jill Macnair has worked as an interiors journalist for 13 years, contributing to titles including Elle Decoration, The Sunday Times and The Guardian. She set up cult interiors blog My Friend’s House in 2009 with Ros Anderson and continues to run the forum daily.

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