Agnes Birgersson Widin
Where are you originally from?
Where do you currently live?
Preferred art medium
Drawing and painting
Hobby or interest aside from art?
Drinking beer and watch series
Watching shitty reality-shows
Who are some of your favorite artists?
Maley Talhaoui, Egon Schiele, Jenny Saville, Hope Gangloff
It’s hard just naming one but I’ll have to go with Jim Jarmusch’s Mystery Train
Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
Favorite song/album/band/musician? It’s constantly changes. My favorite song for now is Wings of love by Liv for the moment. I wouldn't say that I have a favorite group or musician but I like Amason, Tame Impala Talking Heads, Future Islands, Koop, Can, Knower
What are 3 things you want to achieve? I would like to overcome my stage fright when it comes to talking in front of people. Encourage people to talk more about feminism through my art.
Having a proper working space.
What is something you deeply love about yourself? I have a lot of patience.
How has Instagram worked for you as an artist? It sure motivates me to be more productive and it’s a fast way to communicate my art with other people.
Briefly describe the circumstances under which you grew up I grew up in a small village in Sweden that’s completely surrounded by nature. Just outside our house you could hear the rippling sounds of the brook. I lived together with my parents and two older sisters. I would like to say that I had perfectly fine childhood.
How do you think these circumstances influenced your art?
I think the way I saw my two sister going through their teenage years made a lot difference how I am today. They were often arguing and as a result I became more reserved. Sometimes I used to hide behind a door when they were fighting because I was so afraid of conflicts. I have honestly never had a fight with neither my mum or my dad in my whole live. I’m still quite calm today and I believe that you can see that reflect in my work. I’m a very sensitive person and a perfectionist at the same time.
What would you say are your artwork’s main themes? Feminism of course! I’ve done a series about the female masturbation where I talk about how it still is a topic that we are not allowed to talk about openly. I enjoy portraying the female body and embracing it regardless to sexism and sexual harassment that many women experience everyday.
How would you describe your style? Precise and sensitive. I am particularly fascinated be the aesthetics of a line, its lightness, its undulations and the effect made by accumulation.
Can you remember a specific experience from your life that has shaped who you are and what you do as an artist today? When I left my safe little town to go to Paris. I’ve definitely become a stronger person with a mind of my own.
“[Female masturbation] is still a topic that we are not allowed to talk about openly. I enjoy portraying the female body and embracing it regardless of sexism and the sexual harassment that many women experience everyday.”
What are you trying to communicate with your art?
Themes that are relatable to other people. I aim to interpret the complex language of the body, as well as the beauty of gesture. There is a strong link between my work and myself, as I often use my own body as inspiration. Even though this exposes me in a massive way, it gives me a sense of control over my own body and sexuality.
(Certain) Artists tend to have a stereotype attached to them of being dramatic with addictive personalities. What do you feel about this assumption?
Myths about what it means to go through an artist’s path have been around for a long time. These stereotypes persist despite the diversity of artists working today.
As an artist, do you find yourself drawn to any addictive disorder? Not really no.
Have you had any struggle with mental illness and if so, would you like to share your experience with us? No but I’m a very sensitive person that cries a lot. I think it’s important to show ourselves vulnerable to others. It can be difficult to let other people comfort you when you are sad. We don't allow ourselves to be vulnerable. By claiming that we are strong all the time when we aren’t, we create a certain distance from our own feelings and experiences.The more we are willing to make vulnerability our own, the more we dare.
Artists paths are normally non-linear. Can you recall for us what your path has been like?
I studied art at secondary school in my home town. Today I'm in my third and last year of university, studying art in Paris. I have great teachers that give me a lot of constructive criticism that often helps me improve my performance. I never had any actually classes on how to learn to paint with oils. You just show up at class with your canvas and then the teacher tells you what you need to improve.
“I am particularly fascinated be the aesthetics of a line, its lightness, its undulations and the effect made by accumulation.”
What kind of patterns, routines or rituals do you have to keep the creative juices flowing? I like working with people that I know and that inspire me, but I don’t have any typical routines.
Do you think your ethnicity, gender, and/or personal preferences drove you towards becoming an artist? If so, please explain. When I was little I already knew that I wanted to work with something creative but I didn't really have a reason why. Nowadays, I have stronger motivation behind wanting to express myself through art. Once you learn how the social structures are based on ethnicity, gender, culture and religion, it is hard to just ignore it. If you could change one thing in how the world works, what would it be? To achieve complete gender equality.
What is your opinion of the art world as it is right now? is there anything you'd like to change? Lessen the power of the market.
What draws you towards your particular art medium?
I normally use pigment liners when I’m drawing to get a clean touch. Each piece takes a long time to finish but that’s why I really enjoy making them. It calms my nerves.
How have you developed your own unique style?
At first when I started drawing I used to observe other artists that I liked and tried to copy them. Today I feel that I’m heading the right way towards my own personal expression. The way I draw my lines is similar to illustrations of hair, and so I got the idea to represent the human anatomy with it’s nerves and muscles.
“By claiming that we are strong all the time when we aren’t, we create a certain distance from our own feelings and experiences.The more we are willing to make vulnerability our own, the more we dare.”
What is the main obstacle you have had to overcome as an artist? It’s still overcoming my perfectionism. Sometimes I just want a piece to be so absolutely perfect that I usually over do it.
Describe briefly the current cultural circumstances you live in now
I’ve been living in Paris for four years now. It’s a rough city and a lot of French people tend to lose their temper.
How do you think these circumstances influence your art?
My French level is quite good, but some situations I find it hard to express myself. I started crying one time when I was laying half-naked at a gynecologist while she was yelling at me because I didn’t understand what she was asking me. In the end I think this whole experience has made me even more independent and confident, especially as an artist.
Anything else you’d like to add?
Thank you for letting me be a part of this this interview!
“I aim to interpret the complex language of the body, as well as the beauty of gesture.
There is a strong link between my work and myself, as I often use my own body as inspiration. Even though this exposes me in a massive way, it gives me a sense of control over my own body and sexuality.”
Follow Her Work Here