Essays by Annika Gunnarsson and Brian Sholis. Poems by Wislawa Szymborska, Johannes Bobrowski, and Cesar Vallejo

Pseudo-naive and funny, Jockum Nordström’s works compress a bundle of simultaneous narratives in a single frozen frame. He says, “A single picture of mine may often be based on a multiple of originals. I am constantly looking at my immediate surroundings as well as books.” Art, photographs, people, plants, architecture, patterns, textiles, sex, and history all play an important role in his compositions. His enigmatic scenes, rendered in drawings and mixed-media pieces in watercolor, gouache, and collage, seem at once old-fashioned and modern. Lucas Cranach and James Ensor are longstanding influences, as are folk art and Surrealism. His art seems to portray suppressed fantasies fighting their way into the consciousnesses of the flattened-out figures. Fantasy has the power to transform banal, alienating tasks into moments that shimmer with humor and poignancy.

First published in 2005, this book went out of print almost immediately and is considered a rare and highly collectible item.