ART IS MAGIC DELIVERED FROM THE LIE
22 August 2017, Pepino
Finally, the vacation is over. Goodbye, beach! Hello, studio! The return to the studio is always challenging after a long break but this time I still remembered how to paint. It was a good idea to begin a painting before the time off. Now I just continued Pinocchio lying about our economic and political system. It's the same image I painted last year on the wall of Bury Art Museum for my show The ABC of Capitalism - my kids say that I have no imagination when I repeat pictures.
My daughter says that the next painting should be Ladybug, from the French animated series Miraculous: Les aventures de Ladybug et Chat Noir. It's maho shojo, which is a subgenre of fantasy anime featuring girls who use magic.
Art is magic delivered from the lie being truth, wrote Adorno.
03 August 2017, Pepino
The best thing for a Spanish resident in the Finnish summer is its cool temperature. Apart from that we had some hotter experiences during the vacation.
We visited the legendary sculptor Ossi Somma in his sculpture park, which is an infernal forest full of horrors of this world. It made me think what the Lebanese artist Zena el-Khalil said once: We are the condemned souls living in the hell. A powerful trip shadowed only by the artist's worry about the future of the installation - he is already over 90 years old.
St. Olavi Church, a late medieval stone temple. It was burnt down by a burglar twenty years ago and rebuilt back to its splendor including murals by Kuutti Lavonen and Osmo Rauhala. As a fundamentalst atheist I dislike churches and I've always considered these two artists tacky, but the combination was mind-blowingly beautiful. I must accept that I don't always disagree with the hype.
A dinner in Kirkuk at Puhos sjopping centre. Again a great architectural experience. Nothing to do with the contemporary malls that represent the worst of the humanity and our societies. The owners want to demolish the decayed Puhos but at the moment it's a thriving agora catering for people with roots in Africa and Western Asia. Kirkuk serves delicious Turkish food for a ridiculously low prices. I'd give them right away some stars of any tyre manufacturer.
Kozeen Shiwan's dinner performace at Design Museum. The chef proclaimed himself artist and showcases an amazing meal in a museum. Finally food what is not aimed to please the eaters but make them think. I'm writing an article about this.
MASTERING THE SEMESTER
06 July 2017, Pepino
Soon I'm going to make a two-week vacation and I think I deserve it. The first half of this year has been productive. I've done three solo shows: Closing Borders at Serlachius Museums (the most important of my exhibitions till date), White Trash Blues at Galerie Forsblom (my biggest painting show until now) and My Austrian Friends at Collectors Agenda (an improvised small show). The museum show included also a hard-cover book which needed lots of editing work during the spring.
After the big shows in the beginning of the year, I felt totally empty and exhausted but got soon back to the studio. I've done a series of 40 pink monochrome paintings, six figurative paintings, two big works on paper and 22 A4 size drawings.
Now I'm going to begin one more large painting and next week I'm off to Finland with the family. I'll try to stay sane for a couple of weeks without working. It's challenging.
CARE BEAR APPROPRIATION
20 June 2017, Pepino
I know that some people will get their boxers in a bunch for my drawing My Favorite Gay Tribes and Styles. Speaking about cultures that one doesn’t belong in is criminalized as cultural misappropriation. However, I refuse to do art exclusively about straight white middle-aged middle-class Western European men - I’m a bit more ambitious in my practice. My oeuvre is a compendium of all my knowledge and nightmares, a turbo realist picture of the world, an archive of our time for the future generations. Art must be irreverent, obnoxious, and contentious. I respond only to the Art History.
THE HEAT IS ON
15 June 2017, Pepino
The heat is on, in the studio
Inside your head, on every beat
Today it's Corpus Christi, aka Solemnity of The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ. Last week I was dripping blood on football jerseys in Tampere. Now I'm back in the studio, the temperature is infernal but I don't care because I paint like having sold my soul.
The Finnish tour was perfect - I was on the cover of both Tampere's Aamulehti and Turku's Turun Sanomat newspapers. Where ever I go in Finland, the press is waiting for me. In both towns young artists who came to meet me said that they always thought I was an asshole but realized that actually I'm not an egomaniac. I've created my obnoxious public image carefully. In person, I'm just lovely.
However, a six-day operation in the art world was enough, I'm happy to back in my real life and at the studio-cum-sauna. Throw more löyly! Turn up the heat!
Tell me can you feel it