Markus Åkesson, born in Nybro, Sweden, in 1975, is well-known for his neo-figurative paintings exploring the realms of nature, mythology, beauty, and decay. His fascination with pattern, drapery, light, and shadow, can be traced back to his early works – still lifes, portraits, and scenes from everyday life, often including ornate rugs and wallpapers, tapestries, figurines, and decorative objects from around the world, as well as taxidermy, skulls, and bones. However, it wasn't until some years ago that he began working on his now-familiar motifs – a series called "Now You See Me". Inspired by the myth of Narcissus, who fell in love with his own reflection, these recent works depict veiled figures posing against a background of the same, intricately adorned textile, as if being consumed by their own beauty.

An important part of Åkesson's process is creating the surface patterns on the textiles enveloping his models. Visually, they may evoke the designs of the Arts and Crafts movement, art nouveau, or Toile de Jouy. Yet, upon closer inspection, these ornate patterns reveal art historical motifs that at times veer into the uncanny, interspersed between brindle floral motifs. His work is thus fundamentally rooted in the history of art and ideas, both in terms of subject matter, composition, and style.

Markus Åkesson had an early break-through at the French art scene, presenting his first solo exhibition at the Parisian Galerie Da-End in 2013. His work has been exhibited widely around Europe, including exhibition venues such as La Manufacture – Museum of Textile Creation and History, Roubaix (FR), Château du Rivau, Lémeré (FR), Institut Suédois, Paris (FR), Musée Cognacq-Jay, Paris (FR), Saatchi Gallery, London (UK), VIDA Museum, Borgholm, Öland (SE), Fondation Francès, Senlis (FR), Kalmar Art Museum, Kalmar (SE), Solliden Royal Palace, Borgholm, Öland (SE), Berg Gallery, Stockholm (SE), Museum of Applied Art and Design, Vilnius (LT), and The European Council Building Justus Lipsius, Brussels (BE).

He is represented in the collections of Fondation Francès (FR), The Public Art Agency Sweden (SE), VIDA Museum (SE), Château du Rivau (FR), Alice Walton Family Collection (US), and Jacques-Antoine Granjon Collection (FR), as well as in numerous public and private collections in Europe and the United States.