With thumping temples I open the painting kit on Christmas Eve. Immediately I try to paint a self-portrait. --- In five minutes I have squeezed all the paint out of the tubes over the little panel. I even out the snaky and slippery colour mass with my fist. Then I press the panel against my face to see if I am in the cast. If there is only a glimpse of myself I would be satisfied.

Hans Viksten, "My first self-portrait" (MVL p.67)

Read and listen

Hans Viksten, Mitt vilda liv (MVL)

Memoires, edited by
Desy Kallberg Viksten
Bonniers Frlag 1992

Hans Viksten, Livsmlaren

Published by Desy Kallberg Viksten
and Christina Karlstam
Atlantis Frlag 1994

Contains a very fine selection of Hans Viksten's paintings with comments by Hans and Desy

Find out more

Hans Viksten, DRMGNGAREN

Produced for the memorial exhibition over the artist in Hlsinglands Museum, Hudiksvall, and Kungliga Konstakademien, Stockholm,
May-October 2016.

Contains the very special "summer diary" from Folkets Hus on Vrmdlandet, 1969-1985.

Hlsinge Akademi Frlag, Hudiksvall
Editor: Jonas Sima

Hard Rain    No 42    August 27, 2023
Hans Viksten and the Dancer on Fgelbro
In the National Encyklopedia we find the following: "Viksten, Hans, 192687, artist, poet, musician, professor at the Academy of Art 1978-87; Albert Viksten's son". But Hans Viksten was much more than that.

Hans Viksten's life as hobo in southern Sweden contains odd as well as uproarious episodes. In "My wilde life" (MVL) we can follow the journey through the artist's own diaries.

On visiting an old friend in Smland he helps out to pick wood for heating in the ramshackle house. At that time he makes a remarkable discovery.

"One morning in the forest I prize loose a strange root. It is a dancing nymph. The dance step has an exact sway. She even has the navel on the right place and one root arm sensually thrown over the belly while the other points straight up in a bubbling happy gesture. This dancer will be my constant guardian spirit." (MVL p.189)

And further on. Hans ends up in a "penitentiary" one month for drink-driving. He brings the pine root he had found in the woods, calling it his witch dancer. "I will not alone enter this strange world with prisoners who crowd under severe guard."

Hans must fight for his dancer. "Jesua (the superintendent) hates my root dancer and wants to cut her up to wood. I hide her everywhere." (MVL p.205-206).

Later when life is more at ease, with lovely painting summers at Fgelbro, the dancer is always there. Admire her dance on this painting, created by the magician and wanderer Hans Viksten.

In 1985 the manor was sold to become a recreation area with a golf course. A few months after Hans Viksten's death the house was pulled down by the new owners. There was obviously no intention to preserve this unique artist's house.
The Dancer (in Fgelbro Folkets hus)
is from 1968.

A closed People's house (Folkets hus) on Fgelbro, Vrmd, became the artist's summer studio for 23 years. His wife Desy tells us how he from early morning worked to jazz music on gramophone in the large dance saloon (Livsmlaren, 1994 p.14). He never left Fgelbro during the summer months and created there his greatest collections.