keskiviikko 29. helmikuuta 2012

Artist of the Month. Maiju Salmenkivi.

The Waterway. 2011.

I was going through my list of artists who I want to talk about and I noticed that illustrators were taking a lead. I like illustrations, but it could get kinda boring if all I talked about was smexy illustrations (oil, acrylic, grapics)etc. This was the moment when mom brought me a newspaper article about Finnish fine artist Maiju Salmenkivi.

Salmenkivi was born in Espoo, Finland and currently resides in Helsinki. She studied at the Academie van der beeldende kunst, in Holland, but came back to Helsinki in 1997 to study at the Academy of Fine Arts. Salmenkivi received her MFA in 2003 and has been teaching and making art since. She also has contributed to several art events and is the chairman of Galleria Huuto.

In the article, the reviewer says that Salmenkivi's latest work is by far her best. I'm not familiar with her previous work, but I agree that her newest paintings really got something. 'The Waterway' (image above) was in the article and I just fell in love with the colours ^.^ I agree with the reviewer that this painting is the embodiment of battle and cope. He says that it's up to the viewer to decide whether 'The Waterway' tells of surviving or devastation. In her other paintings Salmenkivi is looking to express drama and energy. She fills the scene with paint and brings out only selected details. Her paintings tells of familiar subjects, but the scenes are not trying to capture the whole moment/scene. I reckon Salmenkivi leaves a lot of room for the viewer to interpret her paintings as they see fit.

To me 'The Waterway' tells of devastation. Even though it has very lovely colours which may suggest surviving and brighter future, but all I see is that even after new day has come, devastation and pain will not go away. For some reason my mind goes for more depressing things when I look at this painting. In day light everything may look prettier however that's also when one can really see the damage of the situation. It's such a lovely painting that I'm amazed how all I can think of is 'who is going to clean that mess?' Obviously the painting is (slightly) about Japan's 2011 earthquake and tsunami. Hence in a way it tells of surviving and the emotions one person may experience if put in the painting's situation. That would be a mixture of sweet relief, and agony one probably has never experienced before.

Dark Pasila. 2008
I'm actually quite impressed with how Salmenkivi uses mediums. She mixes acrylic, tempera, alkyd and oil colours, like in 'Dark Pasila'. Pasila is an area in Helsinki, mostly known from its old train halls and tracks. Even without the title I could tell this place is Pasila. Salmenkivi has captured the view from Pasila's bridge perfectly yet manages to make it look unique. I'm not too sure about the massive fumes (I'll be looking for those fumes next time I cross this bridge), but I really really like the colour combinations. I can't put my finger on how exactly she achieves this look. I could have a guess or try a few methods and combinations, but I think she has her own look going on and it would be useless to try to mimic it. This view from Pasila has a dream like quality to it and  I'm sure that many of us who has now seen this painting, will look at Pasila differently from now on. To me 'Dark Pasila' is a dream. The scene looks like what someone would expect to see in a dream. I feel like I'm flying across Pasila and above me are the challenges, pain and doubt this city and its people bring me.

Musta Joutsen. 2006
I think that many of Salmenkivi's paintings have dream/fantasy elements in them. They look almost liquid or milk-like. Especially 'Musta Joutsen' (on the left) looks like Salmenkivi mixed the colours in milk. Perhaps this is what the reviewer ment when he suggested that it's now possible to drown in paint. Salmenkivi gives us her take on landscapes and people and without warning drowns us in paint. Perhaps it really is possible to drown in her paintings. Her landscapes suggests that don't you think?
Salmenkivi has done portraits such as 'Musta Joutsen', but I think that her true uniqueness lies in the landscapes. Her portraits are actually rather eerie and perhaps too simple compared to her landscapes. To me her portraits look little too simple and I'm like 'It's a smudgy painting of a person. What am I suppose think here?' However I do like the technique she has used on 'Musta Joutsen'. It's actually kinda cute painting =^.^=

Escape/Pako. Installation. 2007-2009.
Sadly I missed her show which was earlier this month. I was just about to plan my shifts around it when I noticed that I had missed by that much. Gallery Kalhama & Piippo Contemporary and Google of course have some good pictures of Salmenkivi's work, but I would really have wanted to see her landscapes personally. I bet they are even more fabulous in reality as they are on photographs. Hopefully she'll have another show soon.

Hope you enjoyed my little review. Thanks for reading and see you soon!


Ei kommentteja:

Lähetä kommentti