Private entrance

Artist: johan thurfjell Tags: Permanent art Permanent konst

With keys, a safety alarm and some hurried cautions from the staff, Johan Thurfjell embarked on a drafting process that was like few other commissions. A permanent work of art aimed at teenagers in a closed, institutional environment presents an enormous artistic challenge. He began his plans for Råby over dinner with a few boys whose path to adulthood had been long and winding.Johan Thurfjell is an artist who captures the personal, at times almost private dimension, in a peepshow world for the curious. Looking into his artistic universe is never without peril. A beautiful natural setting always involves the risk that a monster recently passed by.  Disaster lurks along the railway bridge. His artistic integrity subtly meets the care and education process at Råby, an institution for youths with serious psychosocial problems. Johan Thurfjell has the courage to artistically portray crucial turning points in life. This is important in a place such as Råby.In a number of his works, Johan Thurfjell applies the method of tunnelling into the underworld, as he does in Private Entrance. He approached the boys and life at Råby by engaging with them in an applied workshop. Their stories in the form of model building formed the backdrop for the subsequent design.Private Entrance is infused with a genuine love of crafts and houses. A great thing about this work is that it conveys the essence of Johan Thurfjell’s oeuvre. Monumentality in the miniature model. Private Entrance, is a staircase leading to the underworld, ending with a closed bronze door. The place is framed by brickwork embraced by greenery. At night, the light by the door is turned on. Every detail is carefully crafted; the bricks from the mini brickyard in Denmark, and the tracks from sneaker soles that have touched the concrete steps. The footmarks tell us that others have been here before us. Behind the bronze door is a place where no outsiders are allowed in. It is the boys’ own space.Johan Thurfjell (b. 1970) studied at the University College of Arts, Crafts and Design – Konstfack, and the Otis College of Art & Design Los Angeles. He works in a variety of techniques, including painting, video, sculpture and text. His art has been shown at museums and galleries all over the world. He has also created numerous building-related designs. Johan Thurfjell lives outside Vagnhärad in Sörmland, Sweden.