KINGS OF POP
25 April 2016, Pepino
It was just an ordinary Monday - I was ironing the 100 pieces of canvas for my next monochrome painting series - until I found out that I had become a part of the Art History. John Finlay has included me in his superb book Pop! The World of Pop Art (Goodman Books, London, 2016). I'm on the same level with classics from Andy Warhol to Richard Hamilton and contemporaries from Damien Hirst to Jeff Koons. Finlay, who is interested mainly in my object works, writes that I have extended the initial boundaries of Pop politics. According to him, my art becomes a type of intervention, a tool for searching irony and provocation aiming to address the socio-political and economic concerns in modern capitalist societies.
WHITE GUARD BLUES
14 April 2016, Pepino
April is the coolest month - but finally I'm not freezing in my badly isolated rural studio. I'm painting big works for my show at Galerie Forsblom, Helsinki, taking place in January 2017 and planning the November show at Bury Art Museum, UK. I like the feeling to have a lot of work to do but not being in hurry.
Today I'm calculating how to fit 100 monochromes on the gallery wall. In 2017 Finland celebrates its 100 years of independence and obviously I have to react to the event though not in a patriotic way. I have no emotional attachment to the state of Finland. The work will be actually bicolor, blue and white like the flag of the country but I´m going to broaden the meaning of the symbolic colors. I hate the fascist idea of blue-eyed and white-skinned Finnishness.
FLOTSAM AND JETSAM
06 April 2016, Pepino
When a gallerist sells a work to a private collector or a home decorator, you never know what happens to it.
A friend told me last week about an online auction, flotsam and jetsam proceeding from a bankruptcy of some company. The most interesting lot consisted of L.G. Nordström's (Finnish hardcore modernist) print and a "decorative picture" (no author mentioned) which happened to be my drawing West Fat Supreme Serving Suggestion. I informed one of my favorite collectors who got a good work for a great price. I'm curious to know what he's going to do with the abstraction, it's not really his style.
The good thing is that now I know where the work is and I know also that this serious collector is never going to sell it.
03 April 2016, Pepino
On Friday, I published on Facebook a satirical text on immigration. It was a parody of racist Finnish people hatespeaking about immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers. The narrator was a fictional Spanish fascist and the target were Finnish barbarians invading Costa del Sol. I thought that if I hit the spot the post could get my record number of likes or maybe even 100 of them.
48 hours later the text has went viral, it has been shared over five thousand times, it has got 17 thousand reactions and almost a thousand comments including those I've deleted. My weekend activity has been deleting racist bullshit though I've liberally left there all the absurdity you can imagine. Fortunately, I've got only one direct message suggesting I should be executed.
It's interesting to see the power of writing. They say that one picture is stronger than one thousand words but I never made such an impact with my visual art.