Culture

Artist Daniel Jouseff explores his identity through neon and hip hop

By Allyson Shiffman

October 1, 2021

Photo: Daniel Jouseff, "Self Portrait," 2021, Neon glass mounted on acrylic, 150 x 110 cm. Edition of 3

Swedish artist Daniel Jouseff breaks down his own identity with his solo show “KOMMUNIKATION"

“Suicide Note: Tell Kanye he sucks,” reads the glowing blue neon in a storefront window in central Stockholm. The tongue-in-cheek, Instagram-friendly artwork comes courtesy of Daniel Jouseff. The Swedish artist has been scrawling these words on canvases and bits of paper since 2005, so I was surprised to learn that they are not his own.

“I was living in London and I found this piece of paper with this note, and I just started laughing, because it was so abstract,” Jouseff explains. “I’ve never done graffiti, but I use it as a tag. As mine.”

He scrolls through his iPhone to find a photo of the original note. There it is, in that very same scrawl.

Jouseff is having a bit of a moment. This past summer, he had exhibitions at both Södertälje Konsthall and at Skövde Konsthall. This more intimate show, “KOMMUNIKATION,” which opened last night at Arsenalgatan 3, Stockholm, is his opportunity to, as he says, “present myself in a more detailed way.”

The exhibition is centred around another large neon. This one is instantly recognisable: Spider-Man. “Do you know why Spider-Man is the biggest hero in the world?” he asks me. No, I don’t. “Because you can’t see his skin. It could be anyone.”

Daniel Jouseff "Suicide Note" 2021, neon glass mounted on acrylic 125 x 90 cm.

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