Jean Edvard Derkert Interviewed by Teseleanu George

Full name: 

Jean Edvard Derkert

Date of birth:

19 June 1954

What is your current location: 

Stockholm. Sweden

Tell us a little about the art styles that you use: 

Many – I don’t believe in style. At least not one style. Some of my art looks surreal, some pieces are abstract, others border to dada or satire. Chance, the current material I am using, and what mood I am in, determine the outcome. Some pieces look like collages, others look like painting and drawings.

What are your tools of trade:

I use a Mac Book Pro, a camera and  a Wacom board. Sorry to be so boring! Sometimes when working outside the computer I use anything that comes along: for example when I make small objects/assemblages.
What other art styles would you like to experiment with: 

My first style was scribbling. The free expression of the child. Joy in colors and lines. I liked it more than others. My school books were full of drawings. Teachers complained, I didn’t pay attention. Then later on, some  of my teachers were enthusiastic. Guilt by association I guess, because at that time my relative, Siri Derkert, was a very famous artist in Sweden. She had a very attractive rough drawing style that was easy to mimic. That was my second style. Not that different from my original one.  In 1966 everything changed with The Beatles’ album Revolver. The album cover was a mix of drawing and collage. What a revelation.

The first “real” artist I encountered  and liked was Emil Nolde, the German expressionist. For a short period I was into Salvador Dali. The standard  surrealist teenage crush. Then Matisse, Warhol, Kline, Van Meer, Rauschenberg, Van Gogh, Max Ernst etc  etc . Mixed up confusion, and why not. I tried many  styles, but felt no need to be faithful to any. What I did choose was the collage. First papier collé, just paper and glue. My second choice was to leave traditional collage behind and go digital. Collage is still my most important means of expressing myself visually. Collage is not a style and can differ a lot. Collage is not merely a technique. It is a way of  thinking.

What is your favorite art movement and why:

The one I like the most is Dada, maybe not esthetically, but because of the irrepressible Dada spirit. The humor,  the irreverence , the  plain stupidity. But even better is Kurt Schwitters’ own Dada movement Merz. Kurt Schwitters had no style, besides from doing his collages he painted very traditional landscapes.  

Who is your favorite artist and how do you connect with his/her works:

If I have to choose one artist it has to be the above mentioned Kurt Schwitters. His work is a
bit uneven, but when he hits the nail on the head sparks really fly. He was , just like me, a jack of all trades. Quite well known for his writing; collage like poetry and absurd short stories. He was also working with graphic design. In many ways I feel a great affinity for the man and artist Kurt Hermann Eduard Karl Julius Schwitters. We even share the christian  name Eduard.

What influenced you to become an artist: 

I have always loved art, but music is my real love. When I realized I could not cut it as a jazz player, I once again turned my interest towards art and collage. I decided to be a professional artist when a major Swedish newspaper started to use my collages.

How long have you been an artist:

I have been a professional for about twenty years now.

How did your family and friends react to you being an artist: 

I was quite old then and I can’t remember any comments at all. I guess no one was surprised.

Where do you get your inspiration from: 

“You can find inspiration in everything – and if you can’t look again.” Great title of a book by designer Paul Smith

What can you tell us about your current exhibition:

My last exhibition this spring was a real “collage like“ show based on words and pictures from a few copies of Popular Mechanics from 1948. I printed a little booklet called "Smashing Champion Secrets”. I have also published a book called “Cut & Paste” written by me and Kathtin Diestel. These books can be ordered on: The texts in the book can also be found on

Where can people visit your exhibition:

I am engaged in an artist driven gallery called Nationalgalleriet - . I exhibit there on a regular basis.

Where can people see your artworks:

On the internet, on my webpage: or on DeviantArt:

How the internet did influence your art: 

The big change for me was the social art forum DeviantArt.  I have had a home page for years – but with DeviantArt all of a sudden I get lots of feedback and I now have a sort of “audience” I can address.  I have made a lot of friends – some of them I met in real life, too. One of the good things with DeviantArt is that it made me take my making art more seriously. I see so many great works of art on DeviantArt that it inspires me to try harder and now that I have lots of people watching my work I only want to put up my best works of art. 

How can people contact you:


View the work of Jean Edvard Derkert in LITnIMAGE's Autumn 2011 issue

Click here for Jean Edvard Derkert's bio