Rebecka Lagercrantz at the Swedish Church.
Art by Swedish artist Rebecka Lagercrantz is currently on view at the Swedish Church in New York. Nordstjernan met the artist as she hung her paintings and discovered not only a wonderful painter and pediatrician, but a mom who carves time out of air.
“I don’t have time to watch TV,” says Rebecka Lagercrantz. “I don’t have time to sit in front of the computer, I don’t even know how to surf the net, listen I barely have time to get a hair cut!”
Neither would you, were you her. Rebecka Lagercrantz is an artist whose paintings of Stockholm you recognize when you see them: Colorful pieces in gouache and watercolor that conjure up the prettiest images possible of Stockholm, with its lush greenery and its endless glittering water. A few years back, Rebecka showed them at the Swedish Church in New York, and now she’s back – this time with paintings of fish and children.
”I like to expose the wonderful colors that hide in a grey little fish that you buy in the market,” she explained, “and make it shine again as it did when swimming in the sea.
But her specialty is children. Not only does she paint them, she is also a pediatrician – working full time at the Astrid Lindgren Hospital in Stockholm. She is also the mother of two young daughters.
“I have two lives really, one as a doctor and one as a painter. And the two are completely separated. When I’m a doctor, I am fully focused on what I’m doing, and when I paint I am more involved with myself. I wouldn’t want to leave either job, even though today I probably could. The problem is that whenever I have a lot to do at the hospital, I always end up getting more commissions as an artist. It’s always been like that. So what I do is, I read in bed with the children and when they’re sleeping, I go to my studio and paint. But it’s always a puzzle with time. There’s never enough.”
Rebecka Lagercrantz, who is married to doctor/crime writer Jonas Moström, grew up in a family where creativity and intellect were stimulated: Her father is pediatrician and professor Hugo Lagercrantz, her mother writer Rose Lagercrantz, and one brother, Leo Lagercrantz, is a famous Swedish journalist and musician. Rebecka and her mother work closely together, since Rebecka illustrates her mother’s books.
“It’s interesting because I criticize both my mother’s and my husband’s writings. My mother is very grateful, even though I’m a harsh critic, but my husband can get a bit sad…”
Rebecka’s work can be found at the Jewish Museum of Stockholm, at different hospitals (Karolinska University Hospital, and the hospital of Sundsvall among them) as well as in several libraries around Sweden. Her latest work, an installation featuring the Holy Night, will take place at Stockholm’s Sture Bibliotek. Rebecka Lagercrantz’ paintings are on view at the Swedish Church until November 15.
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