When Jón Vilhjálmur Stefánsson started studying at the UC Berkeley Art Academy, he was just 18 years old. Every street since, he has devoted himself to art which bears a hint of the turmoil of the 68th generation.
But there was more that shaped his worldview, because growing up, JV had easy access to scientists and professors at Berkeley University.
His mother Katrín worked on the top floor as the director of the rector's office. Katrín became a widow when Jón was four years old
and so he often shot around her in the office
at the end of her long working days.
At that time, there was a revolution in the field of science, not least in terms of particles and nuclear energy. Those theories were widely practiced by Berkeley scientists university and various things aroused both the wonder and interest of a young artist.
Jón Vilhjálmur's works are colorful acrylic works on canvas and the inspiration for the largest and smallest units in the material world, based on biology and physics. His music gene is also an important driving force that is reflected in powerful colors and shapes.
Jón Vilhjálmur was born in the United States, but his mother, Katrín Árnadóttir, broke up with her family at a young age in a shocking way. Jón Vilhjálmur's mother, Katrín, did not get in touch with her family again until she was 17 years old.
After becoming a widow with her young son, she stayed with Jón Vilhjálm for a year at home in Iceland, but she also raised him in Berkley, California, away from Icelandic relatives.
Katrín's mother, Kristrún Tómasdóttir Benediktsson, was a distinguished musician, pianist and visual artist, but in addition Kristrún had an inexhaustible interest in science and especially astronomy and physics.
Music from the second half of the 19th century, which was the reality of Jón's grandmother, was certainly very different from the one that ruled young people in the hippie years and shaped Jón Vilhjálm. It was not the aurora borealis and the stars of the heavens as his grandmother had drawn them to physics, but the nuclear energy and the revolution that accompanied the knowledge of splitting atoms. Physics now posed a threat rather than romantic reflections from my grandmother's time.
Nonetheless, the harmony with the characteristics and subjects of motherhood and Jón Vilhjálmur is striking.
The exhibition is curated by Ásta Kristrún Ragnarsdóttir
in Bakkastofa at Eyrarbakki, but she and Jón Vilhjálmur
are nieces and nephews.
"Out of the blue of the universe "
Art exhibition with works by Jón Vilhjálmur Stefánsson / John William Stephenson in Hannesarholt lasts until 31 August.
This is the artist's second exhibition in Iceland.