Whatever can be turned, will be turned; now or later, now and then
Around or upside down, perspectives bounce and change
If only we were to let things follow their course
Controlling impulses one cannot contain
The contention of control
Freeing colors, constraining forms
Fighting fears: letting go
If you read this blog or know my personal history, you are aware of the obvious fact that I love Nordic artistic expression.
There is something about the combination of wealth, social justice, harsh climate with a bit of loneliness which always lends such poetry to the arts coming from the North.
Having acquired such a taste, I must say I am always on the lookout for northern expressivity.
That’s how I came across the incredible work of Finnish photographer Riitta Päiväläinen:
Through pictures of old garments, she explores a subject that is very dear to me, that of untold stories.
In her own words:
The main theme and primary driving force of my work is my interest in old clothing. In my photographs, I use discarded clothes from second-hand shops and flea markets. I am interested in old garments, because they carry silent, unknown stories and histories. The unavoidable fact that I will never know the actual stories and personal histories connected with the clothes arouses my curiosity. The clothes remain silent withholding their secrets. Little by little, personal histories are absorbed into the collective history.
It is so mind-catching and stimulating to wonder about not only the origins of our possessions but also the history they carry with them.
Being an avid secondhand enthusiast, I dare say her Vestige series has forever changed the way I look at my belongings.
Being made to think always excites me.
At times I am utterly and hopelessly unable to cope with uncertainty.
I have the feeling it could be exciting.
If only I could keep my mind quiet for a bit.
The interface of photography and architecture is one which fascinates me greatly.
Sudden shapes and subtle surfaces emerge quite surprisingly from the lenses of skilled photographers with a keen eye for beauty in buildings.
These are just a few of the reasons why I am attracted to the work of photographers like Ola Kolehmainen, another Finnish virtuoso from the Helsinki School.
Mystery of Light
A new take on things can be brought about when we are made to look at structures from different perspectives.
Composition with LA
Photography always puts me in a good mood.
It’s easy to tell I’m drawn to Nordic aesthetics and consequently to anything related to Scandinavian design and music.
Maybe it’s because I lived there when I was younger, so I probably get it in ways I may not even be aware of.
The first gallery I entered in New York housed an exhibition on Finnish photographers from the Helsinki School, an interesting art project engaged in promoting photography & video art from Finland. An idea that deserves not only to be praised but also copied all around the globe.
Two of the artists’ photographs featured at the Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery really caught my attention and interest. They are:
Yearly Growth, 2009 from the Possibility of Constancy series
The use of darkness and clarity, both in the lighting as in the settings remind me instantly of this important duality in Nordic life and everything it represents to them: summer-winter, grey-color and so on.
With fascinatingly pale colors and the ever present use of water, Majuri brings the unpredictability of shape into a static form of art such as photography.