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Tent City Rollers - Tenting


27 November 2007, Cervera de los Montes

No more smiling strawberries, now I'm drawing tents. A tent is a shelter, consisting of sheets of fabric draped over a frame of poles and ropes. They were first used as portable homes by nomadic peoples, but today - according to Wikipedia - their main application is for recreational camping.

I believe there are more people living in tent cities - refugee camps and shanty towns - than in campsites with five-star amenities including ping pong tables and Wi-Fi. Maybe there are also more militares in operations - causing refugeehood - and sleeping in tents than happy people doing recreational camping and barbecuing T-bone steaks.

Circuit Breaker Art - (i Love) Washing Up


23 November 2007, Cervera de los Montes

I don’t like to have my own art on the walls. My studio is upstairs and I want to leave the work there when I go downstairs the. It’s impossible but I’d like to have a thin line between the art and life, private and public, work and leisure.

There have been an  uncovered circuit breaker unit on our living room wall over two years. We have a nice small collection of our friends’ works but we never liked any of them in that particular place to cover the gadget. Once Jani proposed us that he could make a hyperrealistic painting of the very circuit breaker.

A couple of weeks ago, I decided that I had been watching enough the stupid thing and  brought an old painting – titled (I Love) Washing Up - downstairs from the studio. I had thought it as a temporal solution but my wife like it so much that she said that she wants it to stay there.

Good or bad luck? Just few days later I sold the painting. It was my first ever internet sell. Now I must spend the money I get in a new piece to cover the circuit braker. Should I commission the painting from Jani?

Pleasent To Be A Peasant - Lucky Strike


21 November 2007, Cervera de los Montes

Yesterday, I spent the day in Madrid. It was raining and I got wet. In the city, the rain harms the daily activities but I live in the countryside, where we've been begging all the autumn the sky and the heaven to rain.

I bought at FNAC Samuel Benchetrit's Les Chroniques de l'Asphalte (not very rural, it's about the Paris suburbs) and Juan José Millás' El Mundo (about the world, I suppose). I had a beer with Martti. I spent some time Manuela and Joseba in their studio and we had lunch in Bar Santander. I had coffee with Totte and Eero Mannes in their fascinating home. Totte is the only Finnish artist living in Madrid and she's been there since the late 60's.

The cab driver, who took me back to La Sepulvedana bus station, was interested in the animal husbandry and we talked about cow breeds. I don't know much about that but my father-in-law is a cowboy. I  felt a true peasant - and I was raised in Punavuori, center of Helsinki.

Midnight Cowboy's Joe Buck said. "I ain't a for-real cowboy, but I am a hell of a stud!"

Masterpiece Formula - Creampie Strawberry Painting


16 November 2007, Cervera de los Montes

Now I have found a formula for a perfect painting, a harmonius and balanced tutti frutti megamix: constructive waffle pattern, some junge wilde expressionism, bright pop art colors, explicit sexual content, social critic, strawberries and chocolate fudge. Maybe it should include some cream pie, which is a pie filled entirely with cream used as a prop in slapstick films but in porn films it means an internal cum shot.

Delicious Petrochina Cocktail - Molotov Cocktail


12 November 2007, Cervera de los Montes

Molotov cocktail, named after Vyacheslav Molotov by the Finnish soldiers in the World War II, is the generic name for a variety of improvised incendiary weapons frequently used by rioters.

I like Molotov cocktail prepared with the petrol of Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, British Petroleum, Chevron Corporation, Devon Energy, Exxon Mobil, Faroe Petroleum, Galp Energia, Husky Energy, Imperial Oil, Jubiliant Empro, Kuwait German Petroleum Company, Lukoil, Marathon Oil Corporation, Neste Oil, Occidental Petroleum, Petronas, Qatar Petroleum, Repsol YPF, Shell Oil Company, Total, United Petroleum, Van Doren Oil or Yukos.

But now my favorite Molotov cocktail is prepared with the gasoline of Petrochina, the biggest company in the world, valued over $ 1 trillion. How many zeros are there in a trillion?

Lizard Liquor Style - Royal Palace Of Madrid


07 November 2007, Madrid

When I had my previous show in Madrid, there were about two guests in the opening. Yesterday, the Finnish Cultural Institute was packed: some old friends, some new friends, the ambassador of Finland and many people that I didn't know. The most special guest was Totte Mannes, the matriarch of the Finnish expatriate artists in Spain.

After the opening, we ate dinner in a Chinese restaurant and washed the rice down with their scary lizard liquors. Later, I had some less scary gintonics with Manuela, Julia and Carlos. At 3a.m, I went alone to finish the party with a steak and a half bottle of wine at Vips in Gran Vía. I like nighttime eating with style. When I'm tired, I need service and comfort. No BigMacs nor döner kebaps.

Junge Wilde Wannabe - Junge Wilde Style


05 November 2007, Cervera de los Montes

I’m prepared for my vernissage tomorrow at the Finnish Cultural Institute in Madrid. I’ve polished my shoes. I have got a new suit and a new shirt. Actually, I don’t like the suit too much but I’m going to wear it anyways. It’s too wide, I’m not skinny but I think there could fit two painters in it. I bought it in the rebajas in July in El Corte Inglés. My wife says that I look really good in it, so it's better to trust her. I try to imitate the Junge Wilde style I've seen in some blurry photos from the 80’s.

I’ve packed a pile of business cards, a camera and swimming trunks, because I want to go to the Medina Mairyt Arabic baths in the aftermath of the opening, a massage is the greatest hangover treat. My wife laughs at me beacuse I plan everything so meticulously.

Super Modernist Sirloin Steak - Almost Finished Installation


01 November 2007, Cervera de los Montes

When I did the pharaonic work of painting Louis Vuitton monograms on the walls in my last solo show in August, I decided that the next exhibition was going to be something simple and easy. Yesterday, I installed my paintings at the Finnish Cultural Institute in Madrid – white walls and all the paintings hanging on a normal eye level. No tricks. Super modernist. Basic and boring for the most of the artists. Exotic and extravagant for me.

Martti, the director of the Institute, was drilling the walls and wearing a suit and a tie. Funny. Very Finnish. Democratic. Francis, my neighbor who was helping me, was reading the Constitution of the Republic of Finland. I was nervous and smoked too many cigarettes. Martti took us for a lunch in a snobbish and expensive restaurant. Francis and me were the only people who looked like blue-collar workers. And I ate one of the best sirloin steaks I’ve ever had.