This Swede’s amazing murals will make your jaw drop

A Swedish artist who has been brightening up city walls has explained the process behind his striking mural paintings to The Local.

This Swede's amazing murals will make your jaw drop
The "Where Trees Don't Grow" mural in Gothenburg. Photo: Linus Lundin/Yash

Linus Lundin – who works under the pseudonym Yash – has done most of his work in the Swedish capital, where he has lived for the last five years after moving from the small town of Gnesta.

His colourful murals are marked by their emotive faces and depictions of animals interacting with humans. Each one takes around five days to complete – not including the extensive planning and sketching that is required beforehand.

“It’s important to get the expressions right in my paintings,” he explained.

“I get my inspiration from my own feelings and the feelings of those around me. I ponder about and depict security, the search for something, and anxiety quite a lot. I also think a lot about the relationship between humans and animals.”

Incredibly, Lundin has no formal education in art beyond high school level. Instead, he developed his style by putting in hours and hours of hard practice.

“I just went out and painted, but there’s a lot of time and work behind everything,” he noted.

“I’ve painted murals for over ten years now, but they didn’t always look like they do now. Finding my aesthetic has been a long process. I was lucky enough to have a wall in the small town I grew up in where I could develop my work legally.”

Lundin’s most recent piece “Where Trees Don’t Grow” was painted in the Biskopsgården suburb of Gothenburg. The area made headlines recently due to a high-profile shooting at a restaurant, but the artist insisted that his experiences there have been far more positive.

“Biskopsgården has certainly been in the papers, but it’s not really fair. You only get to read about the bad stuff. It’s a nice place and people are really open and caring over there. I had a great time there,” he said.

“The inspiration behind that piece comes from helping each other through tough times, not judging your neighbour and treating them like you would treat yourself. I thought it would be a nice fit for the neighbourhood.”

The art world is notoriously competitive, but after previously doing other jobs to pay the bills, Lundin recently decided to try working full time on his paintings. So far, business is good.

“I had my first show this year, which included canvas work, and that went very well,” he explained.

“I guess I’ll just have to see what happens in the future, but it’s working out so far at least.”

The majority of the artist’s work has been done in Sweden, with the exception of one piece produced last year in Bristol, home of none less than Banksy. And while Lundin plans on painting abroad more in the future, he is happy to be a part of the growing mural scene in his native country.

“I’d love to paint abroad more and have some plans coming up, but I also enjoy painting in Sweden a lot,” he said.

“Sweden has been a bit behind in the mural scene, so it feels nice to be part of the change that is happening here now.”


Stockholm Pride is a little different this year: here’s what you need to know 

This week marks the beginning of Pride festivities in the Swedish capital. The tickets sold out immediately, for the partly in-person, partly digital events. 

Pride parade 2019
There won't be a Pride parade like the one in 2019 on the streets of Stockholm this year. Photo: Stina Stjernkvist/TT

You might have noticed rainbow flags popping up on major buildings in Stockholm, and on buses and trams. Sweden has more Pride festivals per capita than any other country and is the largest Pride celebration in the Nordic region, but the Stockholm event is by far the biggest.  

The Pride Parade, which usually attracts around 50,000 participants in a normal year, will be broadcast digitally from Södra Teatern on August 7th on Stockholm Pride’s website and social media. The two-hour broadcast will be led by tenor and debater Rickard Söderberg.

The two major venues of the festival are Pride House, located this year at the Clarion Hotel Stockholm at Skanstull in Södermalm, and Pride Stage, which is at Södra Teatern near Slussen.

“We are super happy with the layout and think it feels good for us as an organisation to slowly return to normal. There are so many who have longed for it,” chairperson of Stockholm Pride, Vix Herjeryd, told the Dagens Nyheter newspaper.

Tickets are required for all indoor events at Södra Teatern to limit the number of people indoors according to pandemic restrictions. But the entire stage programme will also be streamed on a big screen open air on Mosebacketerassen, which doesn’t require a ticket.  

You can read more about this year’s Pride programme on the Stockholm Pride website (in Swedish).