one painter > jari rönkkö

Jari - талантливый молодой финский художник. В своих картинах он раскрывает тему отчуждения и одиночества.
*ниже мы также публикуем интервью, взятое у художника сразу после открытия его персональной выставки в Хельсинки (англ.).
Jari is a talented young finnish artist. In his paintings, he reveals the theme of alienation and loneliness.
*below is an interview with Jari at the opening of his solo exhibition in Helsinki (in english).
Jari Rönkkö

1) When did you start to paint? Do you remember what was your first painting about?

I was about 16 years old when I started painting seriously. My first art teacher was a strongly worded modernist painter Osmo Monto back in Iisalmi, city where I was born. My first painting was large as the wall and all he said to me was ” Why did you take this big canvas even though you can't paint at all!” The painting was about modernist human figures.

2) Why did you chose to show people's alienation in your paintings?

The idea was born when I traveled in northern Finland in the summer of 2009. I interviewed local unemployed people and also those still with jobs, but not necessarily for long. Interviewees were of all ages, from young to the old, but what was most mind-moving was to listen to stories of young men, less than 30 years of age and full of energy. They wouldn't want to move away from their home villages, but there is no work available. The last companies of the city are slowly dying away. There are only two options: a dead end or a forced migration to the south. I grew up in a small town in northern Finland and now I live in Helsinki, capital of Finland. I was able to empathize with how these people felt and that really affected me strongly.

The concept of alienation is about the moment when an individual experiences of being left outside of society, the state where he loses his familiar everyday rituals and is left floating in an empty space. There will not be so much hate left, only indifference. I approach the subject from a serious perspective, but also with humor. I believe that any statement works better by passing the little side roads...

3) Tell us a couple words about technique you use...

The technique I use is the sometimes arduous and tedious layer painting. Painting finds form at the same pace with the slow churning of ideas and sometimes I paint quickly to maintain the sense of the momentary. To start a new painting one has to first build the basis. I use multiple layers of a resin (like varnish) and oil color mix. It sometimes takes even weeks to get just the right effects. Thin and thick layers gives the painting its depth and resin to give the colors a certain kind of glow.

4) What is the most important for you in process of painting? Does atmosphere mean much for you? Describe your usual day in your studio...

Designing a painting in general starts with a certain impression or feeling. To get started, I might search for a footage of photos taken by myself or look for images from the news or internet catalogues. I always try to designate the paintings give the work an additional meaning, nevertheless, without revealing too much or being self-explanatory.
Most of my art somehow comments the world around us and the topics in my paintings are often related to social issues. I consider it important that the message of a painting should be a type of an undertone - therefore the result, the painting itself, is more than just a one-dimensional statement. I want to provide the viewer with an opportunity to engage their own emotional premises to their art viewing experience but most importantly, the painting is to act as an aesthetic whole.
Like a great Finnish songwriter and a rockstar A.W. Yrjänä said: ”Art is more like mushroom picking than fishing. You have to search for mushrooms and if you are lucky you'll find one. Fishing is just about waiting and catching.”

5) Who is your favourite painter?
I can't give you a specific answer to that question because it isn't so simple. I take a little bit influence here and there and every day comes something new and ”mind-blowing”. But I can say which artists I've been following lately. One is a British contemporary painter Jenny Saville. The way she uses material in her paintings is very fresh and still traditional. That is what I'm trying to do in my paintings too. Another inspiring artist is a graffiti painter called Banksy. He works nonstop and undergroung. No one knows who he is but everybody knows his name and art atleast in Great Britain.

6) What projects are you working on now?

My next private exhibition takes place in march 2011 at gallery Volga, Helsinki. During the winter I'll move to Mäntyharju. I'll be living and working there about four months in Art Center Salmela residence.