You can now listen to Pappas Pärlor talk in the POW! WOW! Rotterdam podcast

In September, the fourth edition of POW! WOW! Rotterdam took place in the Southside of the city. In the daytime, an international group of artists created inspired murals and artworks in its streets. In the evenings, they shared their stories in the atmospheric Hefpark. This is the first of three recordings of those talks. Host Jaap van der Doelen speaks to Johan Karlgren, better known as intervention artist Pappas Pärlor. 

Johan Karlgren, better known as Pappas Pärlor, is a Swedish interventional artist who mainly works in ironing beads. As a lifelong fan and collector of videogames, he has a strong admiration for how much the designers of vintage videogames could express through limited means. With only a few pixels available to them to create objects and characters, they created entire worlds. 

Out of that love grew Karlgren’s idea to, together with his daughter, recreate all sprites from the first game in Nintendo’s famous Zelda series with ironing beads. They worked on it over the course of an entire season, after which his daughter was done with it. Karlgren himself however, noticed how calm he became while laying out the beads, and never stopped doing it. After a while, he decided to leave his physical pixel art in the streets as well. His installations are known to often interact with their surroundings in a surprising and playful manner. 

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Music: Sango – Baile Somebody
Cover photo: Martine Kiers (IG: annietram77)