Hallelujah — Our Favorite Scandinavian Art Objects Retailer is Finally Shipping to the States
We realized recently that though we’d written on many occasions about the Swedish online design and art retailer The Ode To, it had only been in the context of our monthly Editors’ List, which is available to paying subscribers (of which you should absolutely become one!). Perhaps this was subconscious on our part — sometimes, despite it being our actual job to share favorite finds with our readers, there’s an inclination to want to keep some things secret, lest they become over-saturated, or, even worse, sold out before we can snag the pieces we want. But this week, with the launch of The Ode To’s shipping to the United States, the proverbial cat is out of the bag — and just in time. We can’t think of a better place to shop for gifts for people who are notoriously hard to shop for. Where else can you find a vase shaped like a white go-go boot, a sculpture meant to look like a watermelon, or a deflated mirror decorated with a truly unhinged smiley face?
The Ode To was founded in 2018 by longtime friends and fashion industry veterans Helena Carlberg and Anna Lukins. Before founding the site, the two would often hit up flea markets, always on the hunt for things that felt special but that they could actually afford — until they realized that they themselves could be the source for such objects. At The Ode To, they curate a selection that is neither mass-produced nor insanely expensive, ranging from handmade sculptures to glass fruits to abstract oil paintings. The artists are almost uniformly Scandinavian and mostly emerging; it was important for the duo to work with up-and-coming talents who “haven’t really found a way to get out there and turn their budding artistry into a profession,” says Carlberg. “For most artists, it’s really hard to get to that place where you can actually make a living.”
It was also important for the site to remain on the affordable side, acting as a kind of steppingstone to serious art collecting, yes, but also simply being a place where collectors of all levels and stripes could find handmade pieces they truly loved. “Sometimes price is an entry barrier for a lot of people,” says Carlberg. “We want to make it easier for people to buy that first piece because then it’s easier to get another one and another one and suddenly art is no longer this scary thing that you don’t really dare get close to.”
Some of our favorite pieces for the launch include Louise Bankander‘s cork vases, which get chiseled then painted in brilliant hues; Fanny Ollas’ slumped sculptures, which look like they’re spewing glitter; and Silje Lindrup’s opaque glass Tursus vases, decorated with snaking clumps of glass in contrasting colors. Scroll through for a better look at The Ode To’s offerings, then head over to their website to get one delivered straight to your mailbox, no matter which side of the Atlantic you’re on.