The MoMA was packed. But then again it’s always packed. With so many people, you tend to zone out and get tired, until someone of quiet pizzazz strolls in and slips right into the corner of your eye. Free of any friends, family, or escorts, this radiant wanderer drifted through paintings and people, careless of the crowd, like someone who practically lives at the museum. With a certain Meret Openheim backdrop in mind and a little battery-life left in my camera, I hoped she was cool with having her photo taken. Her name was Anni. Full interview here
Red Head, Blue Body by Meret Oppenheim 1936. (photo by X.A.)
BATM: Hey Anni! Where is it that you’re from again and what keeps you busy these days?
Anni: I grew up in the deep forests of Sweden, but currently I live with my boyfriend and our French bulldog in Gothenburg, Sweden. I’m studying for a master’s degree in architecture here at the Chalmers University.
You obviously caught our eye at the MoMA, but what was through your head at the time?
I wasn’t prepared to bump into someone who’d like to take a picture of me, so of course I was surprised at first, but flattered. I was supposed to choose a favorite painting to be photographed next to, but it was just too challenging for me. BATM had to make the choice, and I think it was an excellent one! I love the colors.
How’d you end up at the museum that day?
It was a warm and sunny October day, just perfect for city-strolling and spontaneous museum visits. My boyfriend and I were in NY for the first time and it would have been a sacrilege to visit NY and miss the MoMA.
There was a simplicity in your style that was very appealing. Do you remember what you were wearing?
Of course I do, I was in my grey period and wore a Velour blouse, Cheap Monday jeans and black comfy boots.
Tell us about your most recent museum trip.
Yes, it was to a local museum. It was an exhibition about the life as a circus performer, I really liked it. I like going to exhibitions where you as a visitor is allowed to interact with the “art”, you know, in this case dress up as a clown, walk the tightrope and stuff like that.
Is there an artist that touches your senses the most?
At the moment I’m into the photographer Vee Speers. Her collection of slightly bizarre children’s portraits in “The Birthday Party” is touching in many different ways.
from Vee Speers’ “The Birthday Party” series
What artist would make the best fashion designer or architect?
That’s a good question, I haven’t ever really thought about it. I think it should be an artist that isn’t afraid to go nuts, so perhaps Salvador Dalí. In my opinion he would have been both a great designer and architect.
What artist would you most to drink one, two, three, four pints with?
At first I thought of Dalí, but he would probably freak me out, haha. I think I’ll go with Andy Warhol on that one instead.
BATM isn’t into examining style trends but more celebrating those too distracted with their own interests to focus on drawing attention to themselves. When do you find yourself people-watching?
All the time! I love watching people, not only because of what they’re wearing or look like, but because of how they move, how they interact with each other and their different facial expressions. I like drawing and people are my absolute favorites, sometimes I secretly eternalize random people in my sketch book. Museums are actually very good places if you want to draw people. People tend to move slowly and usually don’t notice if you’re observing them.
If the museum had to bend the rules on something, what do you think it should be?
That’s easy; allow dogs at the museums and people to take photos.
Finally, if BATM had to shoot in Sweden, what museum would you recommend to us?
If you were to shoot in Gothenburg I’d say the Gothenburg Museum of Art, the World Cultural Museum or the Röhsska Design Museum. If not Gothenburg then I’d recommend the Fotografiska, a contemporary photography museum in Stockholm which is also my favorite.