Max Alm-Norell fills people’s voids with color. His art is best described as sheer explosions of color. Born in Sweden, he has traveled the world since an early age. Today, he is based in Mallorca but often returns to his native country for major exhibitions.
Artist Verita Amare Et spoke with Max Alm-Norell about his sources of inspiration, creative process, and the power of color.
Artist Talk: Max Alm-Norell on Life Bursting with Color
How would you describe your art?
Max Alm-Norell: I create your unreality just as it is. I want to maximize the color expression in everything I do! People need more color. The images, the photographs that together form the basis of the artwork, emerge as one pauses and observes. Here lies a story reflecting your innermost self. Several photographs form the foundation for each work. Those photographs tell a story. If you own an original by Max Alm-Norell, you have the opportunity to participate in creating new art in collaboration with the artist and friends.
What do you want the viewer to feel when looking at a work by Max Alm-Norell?
I want the observer to feel and think. As much as possible. No stopping. A bit of therapy for the soul. For instance, “Pareja” is an artwork about finding the right person to share joy and burdens with and building a life filled with happiness. “Pareja” is the first painting I completed in 2024, and it’s also the initial artwork I finished in Mallorca. Another example is “Maestra” which explores the journey of the world, delving into the universe and the powerful feminine force that ignites hearts.
How did you get started with art? When did you create your first painting, and what inspired you to do so?
I have always done art. Life without some form of art is no life. Art is like a wind. It relieves the pressure when too much is happening in my head. The style I invented myself started about nine years ago. It arose as a revolt against the pure visual language used in advertising—and as a way to fill people’s voids with color that can actually help the viewer.
What environment and events have shaped you as an artist?
I grew up in the Swedish countryside. My mother is an artist, and my father was a bookie and a horseman. I have two younger sisters who live in Sweden. Sweden was a wonderful country to grow up in. We moved a lot because of my father’s work, but that made me connect with people around the globe.
I guess the idea of moving around runs in the family. I have lived in Denmark, Greece, Turkey, England, and Spain at different times, and of course, in Sweden. Previously, I worked as a photographer, mainly in the fashion industry, which led me to travel a lot for my job. I have photographed catalogs all over the world.
I have also trained in hypnosis and spent a few years working as a therapist on the side. However, after encountering some intense experiences, I decided to take a break from that. In the last few years, I’ve been working on establishing myself as an artist in Mallorca. It’s been going well, and now we have an anchor point here. I live here with my family. My wife is half-Indian, so, together with our two sons, we spend a lot of time in India as well. My wife works in communication at a university and travels a lot.
When are you most productive?
Evenings. I paint almost every night. If I can’t do that, it becomes a full day the following day.
How much does your artwork cost?
Today, my original works range from approximately €10,000 to €25,000. But some giclées are available at a lower price.
What life rules do you have?
I’ve always looked at life positively. Everything can be turned around to make life simpler. Dare to follow what you believe in and embrace your chance and happiness. It can be practiced and exercised like a muscle. For example, how many yellow cars have passed by you today? You don’t know because you’re not looking. The same goes for opportunities. Then, I believe routines are good. Good food and regular exercise. Wake up and go to bed at approximately the same time.
What is your process for creating art?
It always starts with something that affects me. A feeling. Something beautiful. An event. Like in “Pareja.” Something happened that I found challenging on my own. I received help from my life companion. I wanted to convey that. That’s why I began photographing such things. Lovely couples in the city that I captured secretly. Beautiful things that align with the idea of collaboration. Nature in motion, often in the form of patterns. I put everything together and create a foundation. Then I paint on it. I email those who own my art and ask what they see. I often receive responses. If it fits into what I want to convey, it stays, or maybe, I enhance it. If it feels wrong, I change the artwork slightly. The result is something very powerful because more and more people get involved. I don’t believe in the idea that being alone makes you strong.
What do you want people to know about your native Sweden?
It is a country with a small population and amazing nature. In Sweden, you can wander anywhere; there are no fences or boundaries like there are, for example, in Spain. It is a fairly wealthy country where opinions and politics have often been extremely one-sided. Everyone follows along, and it’s quite clear what Swedes think is right and what is wrong. I think you can say they are brave in their mildness.
Can you share some of your artistic plans?
I am planning an exhibition in India in 2024. I’m also going to an exhibition in Tokyo with my paintings. On top of that, a fantastic book featuring the collection of Max Alm-Norell’s art is set to be released in 2024.
Interview by Verita Amare Et
Photo courtesy of Max Alm-Norell
Max Alm-Norell’s website: https://www.maxalmnorell.se