Rebecka Tollens, a French-Swedish artist whose work reveals a real maturity of approach while hinting at the atypical course of her early life. Now based in Paris, Rebecka was born in Stockholm in 1990, and long had ambitions for a career in international law and human rights. She participated in a humanitarian mission in Ghana and took a road trip across South America before deciding to study illustration in Paris. Discontent with the inculcation of certain rigid ideas in the academic environment, Rebecka soon developed her own projects, creating album covers for compatriots Say Lou Lou, collaborating with Danish musician Lisa Alma, Aurora and Grand Blanc.
An internship at the Arts Factory gallery in 2013 gave Rebecka the opportunity to meet founders Effi Mild and Laurent Zorzin. These resolute headhunters of the contemporary graphic arts scene quickly recognised something unique in Rebecka’s work, and encouraged her to set aside her illustration practice to develop a more personal approach to the themes and the style of her drawing. As ideas emerged and intensified and Rebecka sketched unceasingly, the need for an exhibition became evident to the gallery owners, even though Rebecka was still a student, completing a Master degree at Ecole de Condé.
Her works evokes a coming-of-age of feminine desire through several series of autobiographical drawings. From childhood estrangement to volatile men, Rebecka Tollens shows us a clear and uncompromising view of her education, her sexual awakening and various love affairs. This is daily life - the painful and the comical - seen through a resolutely feminist lens. One night stands and surreal family dinners appear amongst dreamlike Scandinavian landscapes reminiscent of those from the artist’s youth, created with graphite on paper and an intuitive sense of composition.
photo credit : d.r.