Licensed joker: ‘Danger is my middle name’

A man in western Sweden managed to dupe authorities into using his painted self-portrait for his driving licence picture, a stunt he believes blurs the line between reality and fantasy.

Licensed joker: 'Danger is my middle name'

Fredrik Säker, a technical artist from Gothenburg, is no stranger to danger. Just check his driving licence.

“Danger is my middle name, I never had one before, so I legally changed it,” he told The Local with a laugh.

So perhaps it comes as no surprise that Fredrik Danger Säker (whose last name means ‘safe’ in English), recently tried to pull the wool over the eyes of the Swedish Transport Agency (Transportstyrelsen).

“When my previous licence was set to expire, I thought ‘This is a chance to prove myself as a painter’,” Säker explained.

The artist, who admits to a lifetime interest in technical painting, took a deliberately bad photo of himself and set about copying it with his paintbrush.


“I’ve never met someone who says their driver’s licence picture is any good, so I purposely chose a picture where I looked hungover, had messy hair, and a bit of a beard,” he said.

With the agency only requiring an image with a recent “likeness”, Säker felt there was no reason he couldn’t give his technical painting a shot, and sent in his finished copy.

The agency never noticed, and Säker’s driver’s licence arrived in the post soon after.

“It looks like a photo so we haven’t had any reason to question it,” Peter Ranki, spokesman of the Transportstyrelsen, told the Dagens Nyheter (DN) newspaper after a closer look at the image.

Säker, however, was left beaming.

“They looked it over and let it slip through. No one even realized until I brought it up,” he said.

While he admits that getting the portrait accepted is a positive step forward in his quest to investigate the “meaning of reality”, the show is not over yet for the artist.

“I think it’s important for people to question what they see,” he told The Local.

“The human mind can change in a matter of seconds and what you used to know can turn out to be false at any moment.”

Säker plans to further examine such topics at an exhibition in Gothenburg in the not-too-distant future.

Oliver Gee

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