Cecilia Ulfsdotter Klementsson Swedish, b. 1990

Flesh layers come from the process and materiality of Klementsson's painting practice. She paints with layers of 4 colours, applying one layer with one colour at a time and letting it dry before adding the next. Each layer is leaving traces of the previous layers and the underlying drawing sipping through. In revealing the process to the viewer and leaving part of the painting unfinished, Klementsson reveals the skeleton of the painting – the underlying drawing, deconstructing what painting of skin is made of and also, metaphorically, what skin is made of as layer by layer of pure colour is peeled away. Furthermore, what gender is made of, as models perform a drag on the nude in classical painting.

Cecilia Ulfsdotter Klementsson is an artist based in Stockholm (SE). Born in Stockholm 1990, Klementsson is known for her large scale paintings of fleshy human bodies performing naked drag. Klementsson received a Painting Master at the Royal College of Art in London 2022, and a Bachelor of Fine Art at Curtin University in Perth (AUS) 2015. Klementsson has exhibited in London, Berlin, Leipzig (DE), Perth, Stockholm, Gävle (SE) and Kettinge (DK) and was a three month artist in residence at Pilotenkueche in Leipzig October to December 2019.


From an  article in Soft Punk, a literary arts and culture magazine based in London:

When looking at Stockholm-based painter Cecilia Ulfsdotter Klementsson’s works, they often encourage the viewer to grasp at what they are already familiar with; her figures, pilfered from the fashion campaigns of the late 90s and early 2000s, are etched into many of our minds already. However, there remains that which is reminiscent of simulacra, what Klementsson refers to as the “uncanny” – these bodies, formerly (almost) commodities in their photographic perfection, have been represented here in their corporeal reality. Instead of re-gifting them the gleaming sheen of unblemished skin, Klementsson works to return the essence of mortality to their bodies; in an artist statement available on her website, she writes aptly, “I circle the corruption of the body and all its flaws." Yet, for as “flawed” as these images may be, they prove transfixing. This can be attributed partly to the layering of color in Klementsson’s work: she paints with only four colors, in what she calls a “manual silk screen printing process,” creating an almost hypnotic blend of tones. What’s more, painting men in otherwise “feminized” positions and vice versa, this element of the uncanny returns: so close to what we have all come to recognize at a mere glance, these slight alterations categorize the images as distinct. At their large sizes – Klementsson is known for the scale of her images – these distinctions become eveloping; larger than life. As a result, Klementsson has become one to watch: currently pursuing a Master’s at London’s Royal College of Art, she already carries an impressive CV, having exhibited in her native Sweden, Germany, the UK, as well as Australia, having called Perth home for five years in the early 2010s. Now looking to put her stamp on the British art world, few are in a better position to do so: as the world opens back up into a moment when we are all so thoroughly aware of our own corporeality, her work is sure to turn heads.