Animal in art
The image of animals in art has been around from the beginning, ever since man began to draw, to paint. We don’t know exactly when that was. On the other hand, we know of places like Lascaux, where you can admire drawings on the rock walls in a huge cave. Drawings of man and animals. Animals are a gift to humans. Without animals, we would not have survived and we still need them very much. An animal is a separate entity. We cannot fully understand it. We can observe them, and learn the rules of the species. We can admire them. Animals are present in Jolanta Johnsson’s art because they are the object of her admiration. She does not strive for their realistic representation. The silhouettes of animals in her paintings are their symbols.
Are symbols more interesting than realistic representations? In general, people like to see in an image what they ‘really see’. Although it is impossible to fulfill this wish. Every image, even the most realistic one, is some form of interpretation. Not every viewer is aware of this. When an artist is accurate, then we admire their mapping skills and readily recognize that this is a good artist. A symbol, a simplified sign is at the opposite pole of the media. A symbol is a capacious sign. It does not represent a particular individual, it represents a group, a concept. Animals in Jolanta Johnsson’s art appear as symbols. We recognize the species of animals in their shapes, but we cannot call them by name. In this way, the artist expresses her fascination for particular animal species.