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Riiko Sakkinen - Wild Mouse In The Wild West

By Michael Anderson

Riiko Sakkinen was born in Finland and currently lives in the Spanish countryside. His work covers many of the things people take for granted - everyday things like, you know, "special offers, fast food, politics, prostitution, macroeconomics, and genocides". He uses low-quality found paper and high-quality watercolors and colorpencils and often picks texts from newspapers, spam e-mails, and street advertisement.

What is your favorite wild animal and why?
The bunny on the Nestlé Nesquik chocolate-drink-powder box. He's so happy and hardworking. He has had many adventures in my drawings.

How do you spot good art vs. bad art?
Good art is irreverent, excessive, controversial, incorrect, moralistic, irritating, bad behaving, ironic, funny, and beautiful.

Do you have a mantra or motto or word to the wise?
I have several: Get rich or die tryin'; Everything for the homeland; Send me more 99% fat free.

Why should people care about your art?
Why should people care of their families, mortgages, lovers, glaciers, pandas, or Sudanese babies in refugee camps?

If a witch doctor agreed to make you a voodoo doll, of whom would it be?
Rose Bride Barbie (Hispanic).

Have you ever been bitten by a wild animal?
Do you think he is on the side of the Nepalese King or the Maoist guerilla?

Do you have a studio to work out of or do you actually work out of a studio apartment?
I live in the Spanish countryside and have a big studio, house, car, wife, and a daughter.

Art: For the love or for the money?
For fame.

Does Tillamook Cheddar really make art or is it just a marketing stunt?
The only cheddar I know is in a cheeseburger.

What is the worst thing about the art industry?
Hazardous waste.

If you could show your work in any museum, which one would you choose?
I'd like to show in Museo del Jamón in Madrid or Museum of Modern Art Syros (MOMAS), founded by Martin Kippenberger, if it still exists.

What museum would you like to see reduced to ashes?
I'd like to see the colonialist Guggenheim Bilbao burning.

What else do you want people to know about your art?
Earn money without a job. Human rights damage our economy. Eat all you can more often. Boat people vs. Marines. A true patriot hates spaghetti. Warm beds for wetbacks. Big cash for slim and young. No food stamp accepted. Freedom to the melons. We hate Sweden. Everything southern is Third World. Big Mac vs. döner kebab. More ketchup and mustard gas. I'll only do it for money.

Artist you would like to meet, living or dead?
Raimundo Emmenthal, a polar bear who makes video art.

Does it really make sense for the U.S. to build a 700-mile-long, 30-foot-high wall with sensors and cameras along the Mexican border, to keep out illegal immigrants?
I think it's monumental. The Americans envied Israel's wall.

What question didn't we ask that you think is important?
(No answer)

Michael Anderson is artist and the art editor of Animal magazine

Originally published in Animal, issue 7 - Wild Life, New York 2006

James Casey
Mary Katherine Matalon
Julian Satterthwaite
Raúl Zamudio
Orlando Fernández
Leevi Haapala
Michael Anderson
Timo Valjakka