Urban photographer scoops art award


Photographs by David Molander go on show in Stockholm on January 25 to celebrate the Swedish photographer being named recipient of the 2014 Beckers Art Award.

Street tableau by Beckers Art Award 2014 recipient David Molander

Molander, 30, mixes digital photographic and film collages with animation to present different perspectives on urban life.

A collection of his work will exhibit at the Färgfabriken exhibition hall in Stockholm from January 25 to March 9.

The Beckers Art Award includes a grant of €17,000. Beckers is a subsidiary company of Lindéngruppen.

Straddling fact and fiction

Molander's work blends different elements of city life, architecture and man in a bid to create new urban perspectives.

"I take photographic images and make films about cities. My work lives between fact and fiction," he said.

"The urban is the contemporary battleground for political, social and philosophical ideals. It says so much about us and our present urgencies. It's the built structure for all our dreams, struggles and obsessions."

Molander's techniques include using a remote-controlled camera drone that allows him to take photos from up to 300 metres above the ground.

‍Photographer David Molander with his work.

Sculpture-like work

Beckers Art Award jury member Magnus Jensner said Molander's work was almost sculpture-like in its way of confronting the diversity of urban life by blending photography, animations and collage.

"His work reflects a will to understand the city's surroundings, how it functions and why it looks like it does," he said.

"Familiarity with our everyday surroundings may cause blindness and Molander wants us to rediscover their original functions, paradoxical characters and concealed structures."

International exposure

Beyond the Färgfabriken exhibition, Molander will exhibit at Julie Saul Gallery in New York from February 27 to April 9 and has a planned showing at Cecilia Hillström Gallery in Stockholm in the autumn.

He studied film and photography at Harvard University in Boston before completing a bachelor of arts at the School of Photography in Gothenburg.

Established in 1987, the Beckers Art Award has recognised several of Sweden's most innovative and exciting young artists, such as Dan Wolgers (1989), Jockum Nordström (1999), Linn Fernström (2000), and Nathalie Djurberg (2006).