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Artist Spotlight: Lennart Lundh

October 13, 2023

Orland Hills photographer Lennart Lundh has photographs on display at the library’s first floor Gallery Wall through December.

Lennart Lundh (born Chicago, Illinois, 1948) is a photographer, poet, historian, and short-fiction writer. His work in these areas has appeared internationally since 1965. Gallery exhibits of his photography include Rochester Community Arts Center (2013-2023) and Vogt Visual Arts Center (2023). Additionally, Mr. Lundh’s art has served as cover and interior illustrations for some fifty books, anthologies, and journals. Over ten thousand of his documentary images reside in the permanent collections of military museums and fire department historians across the country.

Was there a defining moment in your life when you knew you were an artist?

I don’t think there was a single moment. By the time I was in grammar school, I was writing stories and illustrating them. In the 7th grade, my first camera was in my hands, documenting subjects of interest to me and capturing moments in the surrounding world. It never occurred to me that this was anything but an obvious extension of my natural creative gift.

What is your background? How does it inform your art?

Ah, how to put 75 years into a nutshell? I’m the son of immigrants, a husband for over half a century, a great-grandparent, a sailor and combat veteran, a historian by degree, an IT and retail professional across 40-plus years, a mass of never-ending curiosity. From all of this, I see the larger and smaller parts of the world around me, and work to preserve them as images and words.

Where do you find inspiration?

Given the above, I find inspiration for my creativity in recording the things we see every day but seldom give full attention to. This visually includes, but will never be limited to, abandoned buildings and other objects, architectural details, patterns and contrasts of colors and shapes, graffiti and signs — pretty much anything that jumps up and tells me to pay attention.

Who are some of your favorite artists?

As a very short list of shortlists, because every act of creation is an artistic act. . .

“Traditional” visual artists: Edvard Munch, Edward Hopper, Sally Storch.

Photographers: Robert Doisneau, Walker Evans, Robert Capa.

Fiction writers: Ray Bradbury, Patricia A. McKillip, Richard Brautigan.

Poets: Carl Sandburg, Larry Levis, Lawrence Ferlinghetti.

When people view your artwork, what do you want them to experience and think about?

I want them to consider the possible story of an abandoned house. Create a history of what went on behind a door or window. Imagine the life of the person named on a grave, or the years that made a road out of a wagon trail. See the dying hours of a burned-out bowling alley. Glory in the sun setting over the ocean, forests in seasonal change, towering storm clouds marching toward them. I want them to experience the wonder of curiosity, and think about the worlds of what-if.

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