Inside design: Marcus Engman
A new place for street art
In an effort to make avant-garde artwork accessible to all (and to bring street art out of its black-sheep status), IKEA reached out to 12 artists across the globe, from China to Serbia to France, to adapt their one-of-a-kind pieces into inexpensive limited-edition prints. “We wanted to democratize art,” says Marcus Engman, IKEA’s design director, of the Art Event collection. “We also wanted to provide an arena for good artists who might otherwise not be noticed in the art world.” Erin is in love with the black and white abstract Erosie print: “I can see it in an elegant family room, a funky bedroom or an ultra-modern dining room,” she says.
A chance encounter
Marcus met Ruthel Eksell, the widow of Swedish illustrator Olle Eksell (1918– 2007), entirely by chance. Forming an instant connection, Marcus found himself poring over more than 10,000 of Olle’s illustrations, working closely with Ruthel to develop her husband’s body of work – which has graced children’s books, decor accessories and much more – into the Önskedröm collection for IKEA. “He was a true visionary, driven by joy, imagination and curiosity,” explains Marcus.
A great talent
“Olle couldn’t stop himself from sketching,” Marcus told Erin, while taking her through some of his favourite illustrations. “This intricate arrow is amazing because it’s all one continuous line, done without lifting his hand from the page.” Önskedröm framed print, IKEA.