söndag 11 november 2018

Fantasy Art by Robert Svensson (1963-2016)

Above we see "Leopard and Waterfall" by Robert Svensson. Robert was my brother and he was an artist. Obituary in this post. -- In this post today I will show some fantasy art by the man. -- [Dödsruna på svenska över Robert här.]

A dream...

I am visiting my brother Robert in Uppsala. It’s a kind of dorm house, many people sharing it. They point down a meadow or lawn, go there they say, the door over there goes to Rob’s room. So I go down this slope, greensward in the sun and a door ahead, nice to meet your brother etc.

The next scene I’m in the room and there’s a complete change of atmosphere. The room is empty, it isn’t even a room, just an empty space of scaffolding. Dark skies all around. It all says “empty, nobody home” like nothing on earth. Bringing this message home: “Your brother is dead, you can’t visit him anymore, now you can’t go to Uppsala and see him.”

- - -

Empty room, empty scaffolding... It’s over. He’s gone. And then the cataclysm and then the ice age.

OK. I don’t believe in either ice age or whatever major menace ahead. But sometimes you have to acknowledge a somber mood visiting you. “Don’t say it’s rosy when it isn’t.”

“The sun goes down”... this is a moody piece by Phil Lynott. The last Thin Lizzy single. And I always come to think of Robert now when hearing it.

Rob was an artist and he left a lot of paintings behind. So, in a way, he’s still with us. He died relatively young, at 52.

- - -

He left paintings behind and now I will show some. The theme is "fantasy art". All of them are oil paintings; some are on canvas, some on masonite. Some rather big, some smaller. First some works with discernible motives, then some abstract ones. Finally, some photos of the man himself.

(Click on the pictures to enlarge them.)

Future City.

Detail of 'Future City'.

Detail of 'Future City'.

Spaceship. [We see a winged vessel about to land.]

Ship in Colorful Space.

Head Planet. [We see a planet in the shape of a head.]

Detail of 'Head Planet,' used on the blog to illustrate this story.


Tower on Aqueduct.

Dream Cats.

Primordial Planet.

Venturing Out. [In Swedish, "Utfärd".]

Centrifugal Motion.

Shapes of Things to Come.

Explosion in Color Factory.

Sentimental Sun.

Detail of 'Sentimental Sun'.

Detail of 'Sentimental Sun'.

Time Tunnel.

Shape and Color.

Detail of 'Shape and Color'.

Detail of 'Shape and Color'.

Detail of 'Shape and Color'.

Rob (left) and me LS, Venice 1976.

Rob in his studio, 1996.

Rob sketching, somewhere in central Scandinavia in the 00s.

Obituary in English
Dödsruna på svenska över Robert
Retrospektiven i Sundsvall 2017

måndag 5 november 2018

Book News: Commanders -- American Generals from Lee to Schwarzkopf (Svensson 2018)

My new book is out now. It's called Commanders -- American Generals from Lee to Schwarzkopf. Buy it on Amazon. -- Swedes can buy it on Bokus.com. And even on Adlibris.

The first draft of this book was written in the spring of 2000. On a manual typewriter, in Swedish. And, now, at long last, I've completed it in this form, in English, as befits a subject like this: American war history.

I take a look at American Wars from the Civil War through the Gulf War by way of the generals fighting them. I focus on personalities and anecdotes, on everything that might interest me: culture, tactics, weapons, everything beside politics per se. For, I well know that "American Wars" and why they were fought is a controversial subject. In the introduction I intimate that I doubt the official narrative of the Gulf War, and even WWII.

However, I don't go into politics in this particular study. But you still get a lot in Commanders. On the Amazon page we read of the book:
Commanders is a collection of biographies about American generals. (...) Written as popular history, each general is individually described. Author Lennart Svensson does everything from telling anecdotes, reflecting on culture, war and history, to musing over operational details, meticulously narrating each general’s story. Commanders provides “good stories, well told” in the genre of the historical essay. At the end of the book there is also a chapter examining topics such as the mirroring of American wars in literature and film.

As Svensson says in the introduction: “these are war stories, told by the fireside with a glass of whisky in the hand”.
The study includes the following generals:

Robert E. Lee
George G. Meade
U. S. Grant
Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson
George B. McClellan
George A. Custer
John J. Pershing
George C. Marshall
Douglas MacArthur
George S. Patton
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Omar N. Bradley
Claire Lee Chennault
James H. Doolittle
Leslie R. Groves
Charles E. Yeager
H. Norman Schwarzkopf

A sample chapter of the book is this one, about Charles Yeager (1923-).

Buy the book on Amazon.

If you are a Swede, you can buy the book on Bokus.com

Buy the book on Adlibris.

Sample Chapter: Charles Yeager
Burning Magnesium
Biography of Svensson