Not sure I understand this role I've been given
28 March 2009, Helsinki
It has been an amazing week - a taste of glory and fame in Helsinki. On Tuesday, we moved to Hotel Klaus K, where Mark has hosted us smoothly. In the morning, we gave the last orders to the workers at Amos Anderson Art Museum and cabbed to Kuurna where Frame's Marketta gave a dinner for Musac's Tania. We ended up singing Robbie Williams in a shabby karaoke bar. After all these interviews in newspapers and on TV it's funny to be out there when people come to tell me their love and hate. For some reason the loathe hurts more than the amor ever can embrace.
Wednesday was the big day. We held the press conference of Jani and Riiko's Free Worls in Klaus K's Envy Suite. We sat under the screen that displayed German hard core porn. Our pretty assistant Riikka served gin and tonics for the 40 journalists listening us to talk about our (neolibe)realist art. The opening party was huge and and after that we had a fancy dinner at Ilmatar. This week, I've been drinking more Angel Dust champagne than water (and the water has been exclusively Veen Velvet).
On Thursday, it was Kiasma's press conference and opening. Then we filled a minibus with friends and headed to Maria's live talk show. That moment everything was crystal clear: Jani is the most loved artist in Finland and I'm the most hated artist in this country.
Today, I moved back to my mother's place and now I watch the snow falling and review all the TV programs where I've been during the week. Sometimes I'm not sure I understand this role I've been given. Maybe I want to go back home to Cervera de los Montes and be a full-time cowboy.
JANI AND RIIKO'S FREE WORLD
22 March 2009, Helsinki
Manifesto of the Free World
The world of free market economy is a Free World. Nations without a capitalist economic system are not free and are thus enemies of free nations. It is the responsibility of all free nations to spread freedom by any means necessary. The people of the world have a right to live in a Free World and benefit from the free market economy and the happiness and wealth that Capitalism provides.
Jani Leinonen and Riiko Sakkinen want to shake the audience with the glory of the Free World. In the exhibition the artists pay homage to neoliberal economic policies, globalization, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
The Free World is an exhibition that tackles – according to the artists – the financial crisis currently shaking the world, by proposing remedies such as tax cuts, shifting production to Vietnam, cuts in worker rights and wages, redundancies, restricting human rights, and eliminating social benefits, as well as privatizing all state-owned enterprises.
The exhibition contains images unsuitable for minors.
I DON'T HAVE TO SELL MY SOUL, HE'S ALREADY IN ME
19 March 2009, Cervera de los Montes
These are the most hectic days in my life - we are installing both in Kiasma and Amos Anderson Art Museum. And it's diffcult to concentrate when there are interviewers and photographers around us all the time. The paparazzi took photos even when I was changing clothes in Kiasma. If this continues like this, I have to go to gym and get abs like sixpacks.
Yesterday evening, we had a small break from the work and went to a reception that Alexander Stubb, minister for foreign affairs, gave to artists and cultural big shots. I told to Mr. Stubb that a painting he bought recently for the ministry is cheesy and tacky and that we are really unhappy with his attitude. First, he said that he can buy whatever he wants but later admitted that he knows nothing about contemporay art. The solution was that he asked me to invite 12 artists for a lunch with him - to explain him everything he needs to know. How could I say no to this proposal? But did I sell my soul? It's just hard to be a rebellious artist when you collaborate with a minister from a centre-right party.
I don't have to sell my soul, he's already in me. I don't need to sell my soul, he's already in me. I wanna be adored. I wanna be adored.
THEY CALL ME PAINTER
15 March 2009, Cervera de los Montes
I'm spending a well deserved luxury weekend at home in Cervera de los Montes. I'm walking in the hills, picking wild asparagus and cleaning the car - a little bit normal life between all the art world action. Tomorrow I'm back in business in Helsinki and on Tuesday I begin to install the shows at Amos Anderson Art Museum and Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art.
The opening of my solo show Kosmostars at Korjaamon on Thursday was simply awesome, much more than I ever dreamed. Raoul had organized a super exclusive dinner with most of the fat cats of the Helsinki art world. And all they loved my paintings. They called me a painter and it wasn't ironic. The table was decorated with Swarovski crystals forming my name. Maybe this was more than I deserve... Both Kiasma and the Helsinki City Art Museum bought paintings.
But the most important thing was that when Jani arrived before other guests, he looked the show and fell on a sofa crying for envy. I believe that his counterattack - his next paintings - is going be massive.
DOM PERIGNON POVERTY
11 March 2009, Helsinki
Artist is one of those very few professions which permits you to drink champagne though you don't earn enough money to pay the rent. A prostitute entertaining men in a champagne room is naturally other job like that.
We've been varnishing (boring) and giving interviews for newspaper, magazines and TV. It's funny that all they want to come to our studio, even the prime time news of the biggest commercial TV channel in Finland. Is there really nothing more interesting going on?
Anyways, the most decisive is Helsingin Sanomat, the ûber powerful newspaper. Yesterday, Kaisa interviewed us for the newspaper for five hours. I kind of think that she was having good time, at least we tried our best and served her Dom Perignon Vintage 2000 - in plastic cups.
Tomorrow is the first big day of my deep operations in Helsinki - my modernist painting show Kosmostars opens at Korjaamo and after that Raoul gives a dinner banquet in my honor. He has invited museum directors and other fat cats of the Helsinki art scene. I try not to party too hard because on Friday morning, very early, I'm going to catch a flight to home. I'll spend the weekend with my family in Spain and refuse to give more interviews before Monday when I'm again in Helsink and back in the art business.
09 March 2009, Helsinki
Finally, I'm stressed and nervous. I woke up really early with an appalling stomachache and I was trembling. In the next 25 days I have or participate in 7 different shows in Helsinki, León, Madrid and New York. The exhibitions in Helsinki are crucial for my career on my homefield. If everything goes as planned, in few weeks I'm in the TOP5 of the Finnish artists. The worst scenario is that I'm condemned to be an eternal clown of the Helsinki art world. Jani, the number one celebrity artist in Finland, is taking care of our media relations and now we are giving innumerable amount of interviews and going to TV talkshows.
I'm afraid that people see us just as a funny show but don't appreciate our real shows. I was shouting to Jani that I don't want to be part of his art circus, that I want to be a serious artist. I think that I made him almost cry and now I feel awful. Of course I was wrong. I don't know if I want to be an equilibrist or a lion. Maybe a baffoon is the only role I know to play.
After that incident we had a photo shoot for Helsingin Sanomat, the most powerful newspaper in Finland. I said to the photographer that we are not going to smile. I also told him how to take the photo and he was about to walk out from the door. I'd really prefer to have my work in the newspaper and not my face.
MEASURE OF POWER
04 March 2009, Helsinki
I sold a drawing and got 600 euros cash. It's really cool to have money in the wallet. Jani uses always a debit card but I like paper money. You can tip with it, or give it to a beggar. And you need it for sniffing cocaine - though a plastic card is necessary for preparing the lines. It was nice to go yesterday to Tampere to lecture to art students how to make it in the art world. The banknotes in my pocket gave me extra selfconfidence.
Money gives me also a feeling of power. Yesterday night I took my Berliner gallerist Amel and my Helsinki gallery people Aura and Raoul for a dinner at Sea Horse (where I've been a regular customer since I was seven). When they had ordered coffees, I excused that I had to go to wash my hands or sniff a line of coke when I was actually going to pay covertly. Few minutes later Raoul said that he pays and smiled him and said that I'm deeply sorry.
Tomorrow I go to Turku to lecture more about how to be a succesful young artist. And on Friday I continue painting and giving interviews for magazines.