From Iceland — Making Of An Artist: Erotica, Words & A Lotta Girls With Solveig Pálsdóttir

Making Of An Artist: Erotica, Words & A Lotta Girls With Solveig Pálsdóttir

Published March 16, 2018

Making Of An Artist: Erotica, Words & A Lotta Girls With Solveig Pálsdóttir
Hannah Jane Cohen
Photo by
Art Bicnick

Solveig Pálsdóttir is a multi-faceted artist. An established illustrator and member of RVKDTR, she’s about to open her eighth private exhibition. Her art—both visual and audible—is intimate, erotic, and almost disturbing in its intricacies. From ‘Pussy Pics’ to dandy-esque nudes, Solveig pushes mediums wherever she goes. We sat down with the controversial creator to hear what has made her the artist she is.   

My Grandparents

In regards to art, my grandmother, teacher and artist Vigdís Pálsdóttir, and my grandfather, actor and director Baldvin Halldórsson, are the pillars on which everything else is built. My grandfather gave me my love of poetry and performance and my grandmother, my love of drawing. Their home was like a church to me, filled with art from around the world and books about almost everything.

‘A History of Underground Comics’

On the top shelf of my parents living room, it taunted me: The book my father had forbidden me to read. The colourful cover was reason enough to overcome my paralysing fear of heights and climb up. Surrealism, crazy sex and a lot of drugs and rock’n roll—the book detailed the underground San Francisco comic scene in the seventies. I met my love, Robert Crumb, and later spent hours under my bed trying to emulate the pornographic images in it (in secrecy).

The bizarre journey your life takes you when you just trust and let go is crazy.”

Arnar Herbertson

Arnar Herberson is my absolute favourite Icelandic artist. His texture, colour, perspectives—I fell and am still in love. Arnar’s paintings are almost meditative and holy to me. In my twenties, the painter himself gave me a piece called ‘Blue Piano’ so now I can go into my living room and fall into a trance whenever I want.   


The bizarre journey your life takes you when you just trust and let go is crazy. I could have never imagined these last four years and the women I’ve shared them with teach me something new every day. I’ve gotten to perform in countless concerts, directed a video, recorded an album, did the album cover, made a play, and toured all over the world. The daughters have taught me the importance of dreaming big, working hard, and the power of teamwork. It’s not always a bed of roses but communication and respect are key and of course, love. There’s a lot of love there. The RVKDTR school may only graduate me once I die…. I think we may be a cult.

The Dark Crystal

There is always that one movie you watched so many times you could act it out scene-for-scene until the tape fell apart. Yes, I said tape…. My siblings and I replayed Jim Henson’s ‘The Dark Crystal’ relentlessly to our Disney-hating fathers’ delight. We reenacted the scenes out in the garden and knew the lines word by word. The film was mesmerising—the creatures so real but mere puppets, the incredible landscape just a simple painting but so alive to me. The film is always in the back of my head as the ideal man-made world and it sometimes oozes out into my artwork.

101 Reykjavík

It’s sad but true: Growing up in 101 is hard. People in congress don’t like us and despite having never liked lattes, I’m petrified of wearing a scarf. The amount of creative people around has decreased but one day when the tourists leave, it will be like the olden days, full of little stores not run by corporations but real human beings. After graduation from fine arts post-financial collapse, artist Þorgerður Ólafsdóttir and I opened a gallery on Laugavegur called Gallery Crymo. Such things were still doable back then. It hosted about 91 exhibitions during its three-year lifespan. I learned shitloads. My neighbourhood has made me the artist I am by letting me experience such endeavours.

Read the makings of more artists here.

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