SOCIALISM WITH CYPRIOT CHARACTERS
29 January 2009, Nicosia
I'm in Nicosia, Cyprus, participating in a seminar with some cultural bureaucrats around Europe. I'm not getting yet what they are saying or why we are here but as a principle I'm questioning everything and I'm against anything. I suppose that's why Patrice invited me to participate.
Cyprus is one of the only three countries in the world to have currently a democratically elected communist government (the others being Moldova and Nepal) and I think that the communism really works here because people seem to be wealthy and happy. I like the communism where everybody drives a BMW.
The northern part of Nicosia and Cyprus are occupied by the Turkish Army since 1974. I passed the border to the there and found it poor and miserable. They have a capitalist system and I think it's causing the wretchedness. And I didn't see any luxury vehicles there. Achilleas said that the Turksih Army even hosts Colombian narcotraffickers. It'seasy to prefer the Greek side ruled by the communists
PARTIDO NEOLIBERAL ESPAŅOL
26 January 2009, Cervera de los Montes
A couple of months ago, Tania invited me to participate in a show at Musac. It seemed to be heavily curated: the artists were asked to design posters that are going to be handed out in exhibition in April. But I didn't mind about the limits, I'd have done anything to be in my first museum show in Spain! Tania said that I had the total freedom and she didn't want to know anything before having the piece made.
I decided to do a realistic poster, nothing like art. I invented a political party Partido Neoliberal Español (PNE= pene= penis) and it's anti crisis campaign Respetando los derechos humanos nunca saldremos de la crisis, respecting the human rights we are never going to get out of the crisis. I asked Ana to design the poster and she was happy to trade it to my Hello Kitty Pop Tart drawing. Maybe it was a difficult task to make bad design - I didn't want anything stylish but realistic - but the result is exactly what I wanted.
Tania was astonished with the result, she had expected a beautiful blown up drawing and found out that I had done something anti-aesthetic. After a while, she seemed to realize that I had done an important piece. In the museum it's clear that it's art but when people take it with them (for free) out of the museum, it becomes a disturbing item - as sinister as some hidden agendas of real political parties.
ORTHODONTIC CELEBRITY ECONOMY
22 January 2009, Cervera de los Montes
Korjaamo, where I have my solo show in March, sent here the hot photographer Pekka Niityvirta to take photos of me for their marketing. My first thought was that it makes no sense to fly over a photographer from Finland, the carbon footprint is giant for few pictures. Finally, I forgot my green thinking and felt flattered for the celebrity treating. Pekka installed his portable studio lights between the rocks outside of the village. I think the results are going to look cool, though I don't get the connection between my art and the nature. Maybe he just wanted to make me look heroic and zealous.
I told Pekka that the photo can't show my teeth. I hate my teeth, they are yellow and messy I've got a budget for the orthodontic treatment and it's several thousands. If I sell some paintings from Korjaamo, I'll get my braces. Then I could begin to smile and that would change my whole character. Once I heard, that a diplomat said that he knows the economic level of a country just by looking how the people have their teeth andhow much paint the asphalt on the roads have. I've got lot of paint but my teeth always and reveal my economy.
18 January 2009, Cervera de los Montes
My best friend Jani says that something is seriously wrong if a painting needs more than 45 minutes working. I've been painting the 10 painting of my show at Korjaamo,Helsinki, since the May 2006. Yesterday, I completed Kosmostars, the painting that gives the title also to the exhibition. Kosmostars is a patriot style breakfast cereal sold in Russia but produced by the multi-national Nestlé headquartered in Switzerland.
Now I have to finish fast the last painting of the series, My Favorite Banks, which is a list of the biggest banks in the world. I wanted to leave it last in the series because these days any bank can go bankrupt at any given moment. It should be good to go on Wednesday when Korjaamo sends a hot photographer from Helsinki to take photos of me and the paintings. It's a kind of cool but the carbon footprint is huge for few pictures. Unfortunately, in the art world we don't think too much ecological things.
Jani paints in 45 minutes but Vladimir Putin needed only aquarter of an hour to execute the painting that was sold yesterday in a charity auction for a million dollars.
THE MANIFESTO OF THE FREE WORLD
13 January 2009, Cervera de los Montes
We are writing a manifesto for the catalog of the exhibition Jani and Riiko's Free World. I think it's going to be something like this:
The Free World is the world of the free market economy. The United States is the freest country and its president is the Leader of the Free World. The allies of the United States are free countries. All countries that are not free, are enemies of the free countries. The duty of the free countries is to export freedom everywhere and without avoiding military power. All the people of the world have a right to live in the Free World and enjoy of the free market economy and capitalism.
09 January 2009, Cervera de los Montes
I just received Swallow Magazine which is a super stylish hardcover food journal published in New York. This issue is about Nordic stuff and from Finland they have interviewed the two-Michelin star chef Hans Välimäki and me. I prefer this context over an art magazine.
Some like it hot. An enigmatic emigré artist goes west. Interview by James Casey. Photograph by Inmaculada Díaz.
Some highlights of the interview:
"A good artist disagrees always and is always wrong. It kinda explains everything."
“The world’s favorite cocktail is Molotov cocktail, popular also in Islamic countries.”
Where cultural theorist Paul Virilio speaks of a global civil war, Sakkinen takes it more precise – it’s all about döner kebab versus Big Mac.
“I’ve heard that the most important businesses in the world are weapons, drugs and prostitution. I can’t believe it. I know people who don’t have guns, who don’t take drugs and I even know somebody who doesn’t like sex, but I don’t know anybody who doesn’t eat.”
With statements like that, Sakkinen is readily proving his maxim wrong as some good artists can often have a habit of being right more often than they would admit.
THE MONARCHIC EPIPHANY
06 January 2009, Cervera de los Montes
My daughter got many presents from the Three Kings of the Orient. She liked most a plastic tiara. Why do these guys have to be kings?Is it because we live in the Kingdom of Spain? Are they in republics Three Presidents of the Orient?
My three-year-old daughter loves princesses. She watches adventures of Sissi, reads Disney Princess magazine and wears crowns. What have I done wrong in her education? Why does she adore monarchy that is anti-everything what I believe in? Is it because I haven’t given her any systematic political education?
I’d like to have the Spanish citizenship but it includes pledging allegiance to the king. That’s out of question. I’m in the extreme outermost left of the the left and my idea of justice is to convert the Disneyland Resorts in concentration camps and intern there Snow White, Cinderella, Aurora, Ariel, Belle, Jasmine, Pocahontas, Mulan and all other cute but oppressive princesses. And of course the Three Kings, too.
LIBERATION ARMY OF CHEESEBURGERS
02 January 2009, Cervera de los Montes
The Italian superstar artist and joker Maurizio Cattelan had his own football team Rauss that was formed of African immigrants. Every boy wants to be a football star (naturally the sinister kids dream of being someday guitar heroes) and when they grow older and have beer bellies, they aspire to become presidents of football clubs. Silvio Berlusconi is the prime minister of Italy but I0m sure that he fulfilled his dreams already when he bought AC Milan in the 80's. Politics are just an extra topping in his pizza.
My cold war era childhood was over politized and since a very early age I had the famous picture of Che Guevara on my wall.I remember that once I was taken to watch a game between HJK and AC Milan at the Helsinki Olympic Stadium. But I didn’t want to be Marco van Basten nor Metallica. I didn't want to play ball nor guitar in a stadium. I wanted to be a terrorist and bomb stadiums.
Logically, now as artist I don’t want to own a football team but a private commando, my own light special forces military unit parachuting to all the conflicts areas.My troops would be formed of the 4th world people: homeless junkies and street prostitutes.
It would be named Liberation Army of Cheeseburgers and it would get invloved in all crisis and conflicts around the world. It might be a mixtue of RAF (Red Army Faction), LRA (Lord’s Resistance Army) and KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken)
Now I'd send my commando to Gaza Strip where they would shoot Heinz ketchup to the Israeli invasors and offer bacon burgers to the Hamas leaders.