BOYCOTTING FRANCE AND THE UNITED STATES
30 August 2013, Cervera de los Montes
This is an e-mail I sent five minutes ago to Michelle Anderson Binczak, director of La Porte Peinte Centre por les Artes in Noyers sur Serein, France, to ask her to remove my work from their current group show due to the attack the French Republic is preparing with the United States to the Syrian Arab Republic.
Last week, you told me that the group exhibition Be:e was prolonged until December and I agreed that my work Blood & Honey can continue being a part of it.
Unfortunately, the panorama has changed rapidly. President François Hollande offered today the French Republic’s full support to the United States of America for an illegal military action against the Syrian Arab Republic. France and the United States are planning to attack the legal government of a sovereign country without a United Nations resolution.
The French and American governments are fighting on the same side with Al Qaeda to overthrow a multicultural, multiethnic, multireligious and secular Syrian society. Do they want to establish a Sharia based dictatorship in Syria like the Islamist rebels they are supporting?
I’m sure that you are against this illegal attack like most of the French and American people but I have decided to stop exhibiting my works on the soil of the French Republic, the United States of America and other countries joining the axis of evil against the Syrian Arab Republic.
I ask you kindly to remove my work from the show. If you want, you can replace the object with this letter. I’m really sorry for any inconvenience caused to you but I hope you understand my decision.
Thanks and sorry, Riiko
FREEDOM LOVING BOMBS
27 August 2013, Cervera de los Montes
Yesterday, Islamist terrorists shelled with mortars the Bab Sharqui area in the old town of Damascus. The Finnish Institute in the Middle East where I have stayed as artist-in-residence in the beginning of the war was damaged and the baby of the cleaning lady was wounded.
It is hard to understand why the government of Finland, like all the western powers, support these savage jihadists. They fight against Islamist terrorism in most of the theaters of war but in Syria they back them for some obscure geopolitical reasons. Now, Obama's troops are getting ready to bomb Syria to establish there a sharia based dictatorship they call freedom and democracy.
I don't only follow the news but I chat with friends in Damascus every day. I'm reading now Chinese Tang dynasty poems and I dared to adventure with poetry after one of these chats.
It was the Arab Spring
and I was falling in love
After Ramadan we got married
to watch together the bombs fall
We eat waffles with chocolate
observing the traces of mortar shells
bringing us freedom we don't want
COUNTRIES WHERE MY WORKS HAVE BEEN EXHIBITED
22 August 2013, Cervera de los Montes
Albania, Austria, Australia, Belgium, Bosnia, China, Costa Rica, Croatia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Russia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, United Kingdom, United States.
Actually, I thought it would have been a longer list. Soon I can add Lebanon. I just booked the flights to Beirut where I'm going to be artist-in-residence at Xanadu from mid October to mid December and we are planning to do a small presentation of my works, too.
16 August 2013, Cervera de los Montes
After living few days in the art world in Gijón, I've got my feet back on the ground again. This week I've been painting - not works of art but the walls of my patio. Ironically, they are red like the paintings I've done this year. If my red monochrome paintings triumph in the Carnegie Art Award and I become famous and wealthy artist, I'll never paint our walls again. I'd prefer to paint canvases in the studio and hire a professional painter for the walls. Or maybe I could add the red monochrome walls in my portfolio and paint the walls of art collectors?
BECAUSE WE CAN
11 August 2013, Gijón
Gijón has been fun. I've been treated here as an art star dining in the best seafood restaurants and giving interviews to the local media. I'm staying at my gallerist Angela's place with an amazing sea view. Before yesterday's inaugural reception, I put my swimming trunks on, went down by the lift, crossed the street and relaxed in the warm ocean. Now it's nine o'clock on a beautiful Sunday morning. I came home around 5am but I can't sleep more. Ana, Angela's maid is still in bed and I don't know how to prepare coffee in this kitchen. Maybe I just sit at the terrace watching the waves.
I don't wanna be another wave in the ocean
I am a rock, not just another grain of sand
THE MIRACLE OF GIJON - NO PING PONG, PLEASE
07 August 2013, Cervera de los Montes
It's a shipping day and I hope it's not ship ping pong. Ping pong refers to something that is bouncing back and forth. When the works leave the studio, I hope they are not coming back but sold.
The red monochromes 57 Varieties are finally of to Stockholm for the Carnegie Art Award and then I'm wrapping up paintings for my solo show at AVAart, Gijón, Asturias. I rent a van and drive there tomorrow.
I've never been to Gijón and I know nothing about the town but I like it very much. The reason for my sympathy is a football match known in Finland as the Miracle of Gijón. Last spring Finland shocked the world champion Spain with a 1-1 draw. It was the most amazing moment of the humble Finnish football history. I wish to be as strong as the Finnish national football team.
ITCHING FOR ACTION
03 August 2013, Helsinki
I've enjoyed these three weeks of vacation on Finland but now I'm itching for action. On Monday, we fly back to Spain and on Tuesday I bubble wrap paintings for my solo show Respetando los derechos humanos nunca saldremos de la crisis at Espacio AVAart in Gijón, Asturias, opening next Saturday. I'm going to rent a van and drive with my works to the Northern Spain. The logistics are uncomplicated when the show is only 500km from the studio. Unfortunately, I rarely exhibit in the counrty where I live. It's not easy to be an immigrant artist in Spain.