Street Art

Cosmo Loves: Joakim Stampe (Sweden)

Joakim Stampe: Stone paintings that fade with the weather!

Living and working in Sweden, Joakim Stampe specialises not only in sustainable street art, but also in performance art. Here though I am only going to focus on the street art aspect of his work as this is what intrigued me the most when I came across him 🙂
So what does Joakim do? Basically, he paints beautiful, realistic faces onto rocks and stones in the public space. These can be the decorative stones that local councils use to spruce up town centres, mini cliff faces or rocks that are just laying about amongst the nature.
Joakim tends to paint in the street with water-based paint that washes away with time and weather. Calling these artworks ‘conversations‘, Joakim tends to paint on stone and in ‘gritty’ urban locations that really make the paintings look alarmingly realistic – or as realistic as they can look when painted on a stone in the middle of a city.
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I love how some of the paintings tend to have more than one face or dimension; one person may see a face from one side, but a different passerby may see something completely different (or a different face) when walking past at a different angle.

I love the idea that the artwork can be viewed in entirely different ways just by standing in a different location. It’s also cool that Joakim uses the whole stone, and doesn’t restrict himself by thinking once one face is done, there is no need to add anything else. The shape of the stone doesn’t restrict him, and neither does he let what he is painting limit him.


To me, his most beautiful work are the light shadows of faces he paints on walls. They are so subtle that they could almost be missed if you weren’t looking out for them, although you could be sure that if you do notice them you’d be amazed!


What’s more beautiful than seeing faces like these disguised amongst the brickwork of a crumbling wall in a busy city? It brings the city walls to life and gives something that most people (particularly non-street art fans) would just look past a whole new vibe – the once uninteresting walls are suddenly intriguing, and the outside space is open to and full of creative possibility!

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What’s also super cool is that using the texture of the brick makes the faces look even more realistic, imitating the shadow and dimension of the human face.

Joakim Stampe cosmic traveller 2.jpg

Some of the pieces even look like they’re there naturally; as if it happened itself through natural weathering.

Painting faces onto rocks encourages you to see nature as something with personality, which I think is sometimes easy to forget. Nature can never be controlled or owned, as much as we try, and using paint that washes away with the weather only enhances the message – that nature always triumphs over human intervention in the end. 🙂

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See more of his work on Facebook / Instagram / his website

** All photos and artwork belong to, and are copyright of Joakim Stampe **

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