ABOVE: ANDRÉ SARAIVA AT THE "BACK TO SWEDEN" OPENING. IMAGE COURTESY OF FORWARD
André Saraiva specializes in fantasies. The New York-based artist is known for his lavish parties populated by the famous and the beautiful, many of which occur at his notorious nightclub, Le Baron. Saraiva's latest exhibition, "Back to Sweden" at Gallery Steinsland Berliner in Stockholm, deals with another sort of fantasy. The artist's concert poster series depicts fabricated artist combinations beyond any music lover's wildest dreams. "I put together some lineups of concerts I wish could happen," explains Saraiva. "The names together are a bit like poetry." Based on classic American concert posters from the '60s and '70s, the works have a nostalgic quality that sparks the imagination. One cannot help but visualize The Beatles opening for The Rolling Stones or Phoenix sharing a stage with Daft Punk—the latter of which actually happened at Madison Square Garden back in 2010.
The show's opening marked a homecoming for Saraiva. Though his charming French accent would hint otherwise, he was born in Uppsala, Sweden. "I haven't been here in 25 years," he says. "It's bringing back a lot of memories." In addition to the show, Saraiva opened a Le Baron pop-up club at the luxurious Club V in the heart of downtown Stockholm. A glamorous gang of the artist's friends traveled from New York, France and Italy for the occasion. "All the kids are here," Saraiva remarked. The "kids" included Johan Lindeberg, Alexander Skarsgård, Waris Ahluwalia, and Lynn Yaeger; and thanks to a generous collaboration with Absolut Vodka, there was no shortage of complimentary cocktails and extravagant dinner parties.
Saraiva was characteristically nonchalant about the exhibition, all laid-back-French-cool, grins and air kisses: a vibe that permeates his nightclubs and his art. "I chose what I had left in the studio," he jokes when asked how he decided what works to showcase. It is a seductive and contagious attitude, which is perhaps why so much of the fashion, art, and social elite makes a point of being wherever in the world he happens to be. "It's pretty, it's the end of summer, everybody's happy."
"BACK TO SWEDEN" IS CURRENTLY ON VIEW AT GALLERY STEINSLAND BERLINER.