SMOKING IN PRC
28 April 2011, Cervera de los Montes
I'm preparing some new list drawings for my show My Favorite Banks and Escort Girls in the People's Republic in China at Galerie e.l Bannwarth, Paris, opening the 19th of May. I've been listing Re-education through labor camps, torture methods used against Falun Gong adherents, Chinese inventions, China's next top models, theme parks and cigarette brands.
The Chinese understand the importance of smoking. In China, giving cigarettes at any social interaction is a sign of respect and friendliness. The most valued gift is a carton of premium cigarettes like Panda - made famous after Deng Xiao Ping who smoked them each and every day of his administration. People are known to stand in line in stores even before they open to get a chance to snag a carton of Panda cigarettes, priced $300. And some other even more luxurious brands can have a price tag of $70 for a normal pack of 20 cigarettes.
I like smoking and China.
RESIDENCY APPLICATION FOR DAMASCUS
25 April 2011, Cervera de los Montes
At this very moment, I’m reading that Syrian protests spread as forces open fire on demonstrators. It’s impossible to say what is the situation in Syria in September when the residency takes place but whatever happens, it will be extremely delicate and interesting time. I believe strongly that I could be the right artist in the right place at the right time.
My work plan is to create The Riiko Sakkinen Syrian Encyclopedia.
An encyclopedia is a comprehensive reference work with articles on all branches of knowledge. I’ve been composing since 2008 Riiko Sakkinen’s Encyclopedia which is an expanding image archive made basically of scanned images of advertising and marketing, from bubble gum to prostitution, from all the continents. The piece has been presented as a multi-channel slide show installation in Chicago and Helsinki and next will be exhibited in Monterrey, Mexico, in May.
The Riiko Sakkinen Syrian Encyclopedia would obviously concentrate in the things I see and find in the country during the residency – and then form an independent research of the context, place, and time . The target would be to have at least 200 images of Syria. Later the piece could be presented as an installation in Syria or elsewhere.
BOYCOTT EVERYTHING FINNISH
19 April 2011, Cervera de los Montes
The fascist True Finns took nearly a fifth of votes in Finland's general election on Sunday. Now we ask you kindly to boycott all Finnish companies, brands and products - and damage the economy of the country. To help you in that task, we've prepared a brief list of some Finnish stuff you should avoid.
Nokia (telecommunications), Neste Oil (oil refining), Finnair (airline), Kone (elevators), Ahlstrom (pulp and paper), Botnia (pulp mills), UPM -Kymmene (paper), Elqoteq (electronics), F-Secure (computer software), Suunto (sports equipement), Patria (military technology), Cargotec (machinery), Fazer (sweets), Fiskars (consumer products), Artek (furniture), Marimekko (fashion), Ivana Helsinki (fashion), HIM (rock music), Nightwish (rock music), Kaija Saariaho (classical music), Esa-Pekka Salonen (classical music), Sofi Oksanen (literature), Aki Kaurismäki (film), Riiko Sakkinen (art).
FROM A HOUSEWIFE TO AN ART STAR AGAIN
15 April 2011, Cervera de los Montes
My wife worked this week in Tenerife and I was taking care of the kids. Now I admire the housewives, it's much harder work than being an artist.
I've spent the spring at home and in the studio with a superb energy. I've finished eight paintings, a bunch of drawings, a slide show and the first pieces of my new series of ceramic plates based on my drawings. Now I'm sketching more of them to have soon ready a set of at least 50. I'm dreaming of making also a giant ceramic pot with my drawings but that's very expensive and the transport of a heavy object is difficult. Maybe it's better to know where to exhibit it before making it - or maybe it should be sold also before executing it.
Other urgent and ongoing projects are my solo shows at Galerie e.l Bannwarth, Paris, opening 19th May, and Pristine Galerie, Monterrey, Mexico, opening 4th June. I need to make some works for both of these shows. In Paris I concentrate in the People's Republic of China and in Mexico in the capitalism and the class struggle.
After being several months locked in the village, it feels great to travel soon again, do shows and pose in the artworld.
FATHER'S DAY OFF
09 April 2011, Cervera de los Montes
My wife is working in Tenerife for a week and I'm at home with the kids. I think it's more challenging to triumph as a father than as an artist. Anyways, I have to do the both.
Before this challenge I needed to take a day off and traveled to Madrid with the excuse of voting at the Embassy of Finland. First I went to Totte's studio and then cabbed with he and Eero to the Embassy, where Totte demanded to see the photos of the candidates saying that she had no idea of the Finnish politics and therefore wanted to vote the most handsome candidate. I said that that's the reason why I don't believe in the democracy. After using our right to vote, we went to the Finnish Cultural Institute and had some drinks with Martti.
Then I met Zadie and Beninto in their studio and we had lunch. Later I went to Galeria Casasdo Santapau to pock up Emma's painting I had traded to some drawings. Then I met Judas at Hotel Kafka where he did a charity show for the victims of the quake in Japan. We drank until the midnight with some writers and then had a Mexican sipped some cubalibres somewhere in Lavapies before going to sleep in Carmen and Montxo's place.
I LOVE MONEY
05 April 2011, Cervera de los Montes
I finished my enormous - 240x240cm - painting I Love Money. It's an allegory of the capitalism with the big infant like figure representing the capitalists, the small mascot symbolizing the politicians and the sausages - saying eat us plz - are obviously the workers.
I Love Money is an American reality television where the former contestants of Flavor of Love, Charm School, I Love New York, Rock of Love, Real Chance of Love, For the Love of Ray J, Daisy of Love and Megan Wants a Millionaire compete in physical and mental challenges.
Who buys this painting?