Archive 2013-2023

The Grey Liberator

Jim Thorell
April 20-May 14, 2017

“So imagine you can not read the written words of this science, you don’t understand the symbols included in the message, your device doesn’t even pick up the signal and this alien liberator comes to check you out—It’s scary, right?
And maybe you should be sceptical of the absolute authority this creature seems to command over you.”

The Greys are the most commonly mentioned alien life form described by people claiming to have experienced alien abduction. The experience is almost exclusively described as traumatic and images of violent abuse, sometimes of sexual nature, are not uncommonly included in testimonials of experiencers.

In literature and pop culture they are depicted as observers, alien scientists disrupting, probing and carrying out abusive experiments veiled as liberation of those deemed uneducated and primitive.

Though similar in their appearance as overhuman figures of authority, the Greys of the old world order are not to be confused with the Reptilians: the shape-shifting urban professionals inhabiting the expanding cities of every contemporary culture, whose utter and complete lack of any identifiable talent or base intelligence is signified and revered by a society of peers and who – contrary to expectation – effortlessly advance to power in every area of expertise. They seem immune to stress and ignorant of emotion.

If the grays are remnants of the last century, the reptilians are their bastard children brought forth to govern.

One of the paintings, “The Grey Liberator”, shows the Grey Liberator opening a window for a metaphysi- cally disembodied birdlike creature to take its ghostlike wings to flight, while a caged and based clonk of metal urges to be taken along.

The second painting, “Catching a ship out of this domestic bliss”, displays a domestic scene, a sleeping parental unit and a child sneaking out of bed, climbing the furniture to reach up and out into space.

Jim Thorell, b. 1981 in Stockholm where he lives and works. He studied at schools in Finland, Japan, Vietnam and Austria before receiving his MFA from Valand Academy in Gothenburg. Working figuratively in a wildly expressive manner, his intuitive painting produces larger-than-life live things. Thorell’s work has been shown at Loyal Gallery and with Carl Kostyál in Stockholm, Gillmeier Rech in Berlin, Roman Road Gallery and Union Pacific in London, S2 Gallery in New York City, Wanås Konst and Moderna Museet in Malmö.

Photography: JKG, courtesy of the artist and Pina