Molasses and sunglasses
You’re wondering: What’s with the makeup right? Everyone does. The Swedes are anyway.
Some of you may know that it’s called a sugar skull and that i’ts a pretty common sight in the voodoo-shops off Decatur Street.
But why a sugar skull? Well first of all: It’s no secret that New Orleans is a big part of my life now, and has been for about two years. (So much so, that I got pulled into customs in Chicago the last time I came over, and was berated by a customs officer about being in the states on a visitors VISA when being a musician alone automatically means that I'm taking untaxed dollars from Uncle Sam and bringing them home with me. Yeah, not really buddy..) This time I was let into the country without hesitation though. But the fact that I’m getting to know all the nooks and crannies in this city makes it so much easier to come to the Big Easy, and makes it so much harder to leave.
And the sugar skull, being a classic voodoo symbol is my way of visualize the curse and blessing that this city has cast on me. I am forever darker soul and forever a luckier man since I set foot here. The love from everyone here is so warm and genuine in so many ways. And the fact that you almost get the feeling that you might be and old should who’s been here before, doesn’t exactly makes things any easier once you’re trading the plane to leave.
The skull is my inner tattoo of a place that grows on me by the minute. And the rest of the setup with clothes, furniture and location is my way to show my American family where i come from. My heritage as a son of the sea. Brought upalong the west coast of Sweden and with a grandfather that used to smoke fish in his own little shack down by the water. I was about maybe 5 days old when my parents took me aboard our sailboat for the first time, and as we came back after 3 weeks at sea, I immediately started crying as they put me on the dock. Dry land wasn't rocking me gently in the same comforting way as a boat, apparently.
I feel right at home in New Orleans. I’ve said it before: It’s a place reeking of sex, grime, odors and an overwhelming love for never giving up. It’s a mistress that has her own pace, and you are gonna have a great time as long as you keep up with her. But beware. She will come down on you if you loose your feet for only a second.
So with the images of the incredibly talented Robert Dahlberg (@robertdahlbergphoto) portraying the Swedish side of me, I took to Katie Sikora, Nola photographer and journalist, for portraying what is essentially me on the other side of things. What I am amidst the grime and dirt, the diverse houses and the wonderful colors, the dive bars and the concrete.
A different session, but still so much fun. Katie is a darling and i enjoyed working with her immensely, and we will continue to do so when we come back in October.
You can check her out on Instagram at @katiesikphoto
Now the pineapple shirt is a different story. I'll tell it some other time.
I’m coming home now. In many ways.
Thank you Nola. See you in the fall.