We know you love your Volvo. If you didn’t, you wouldn’t be here, right? But admit it. Sometimes you look at your Swedish wonder sitting there in the driveway and you have to admit—kind of boring. Not how it drives or feels, mind you, but the way it looks. Boring and beautiful. And one very talented illustrator and innovator agrees. That’s why he draws aliens, Swedish countrysides, spaceships and Volvos…in the same scenes!
What does the classic styling of Volvo 240s have to do with the future? For Simon Stålenhag, a Swedish artist, musician, and digital designer, the unmistakeable lines of the Swedish bricks fit seemlessly into his futuristic scenes. The innovative artist breaks boundaries with his retro-futuristic images of nostalgic Swedish countrysides with alternate history environment—including spaceships and Volvos!
The settings of his artwork have formed the basis for an Amazon television drama series called Tales from the Loop (2020), and two narrative art books, Tales from the Loop (Swedish Ur Varselklotet) in 2014 and (Swedish Flodskörden) Things from the Flood in 2016. Both focus on the construction of a supermassive particle accelerator called the Loop.
But back to the Volvos. Having a prominent presence in avant garde art is a new and exciting leap for, dare I say, our beloved boring bricks! Once you check out his art and start spotting the Volvos, you’ll see just what the artist saw—a perfect blend of future and classic design lines.
Stålenhag has an affinity for 1980s Volvos in particular. The handsome, strong right angles of the 700- and 900-series Volvos lend themselves well to Stålenhag’s style.
From that sketch. The car had to become a volvo at some point you understand that right? I know it kinda looked like a 80s Ford LTD or Cutlass Ciera or something in the sketch, but of course, it could not last. https://simonstalenhag.tumblr.com/post/69079241264/from-that-sketch-the-car-had-to-become-a-volvo-at