WHITE AND BLUE IN MADRID
30 May 2016, Pepino
On Sunday, I took the kids to Madrid. We live only a bit more than 100km from the capital city, but they barely know it. We enjoyed riding cable car, taxi and metro - public transport is something special for a countryside child. We rented a rowing boat in the pond of the Retiro Park, where we visited the Madrid Book Fair and Reina Sofia Museum's exhibition sites. Rémy Zaugg's (1943-2005), who questioned everything which the surrounding world took for granted, garnering talk of a philosopher-artist, exhibition was interesting - one room featured exclusively white and blue monochromes painted in the early 70s. I was totally baffled, that's what I'm doing now, painting a series of 100 monochromes of these colors.
To finish the day, we had dinner at a terrace near Retiro. Suddenly Real Madrid's bus with the footballers and the Champions League trophy they won on Saturday passed by us. The team is called Los Blancos, The Whites, because they play in White monochrome kit.
25 May 2016, Pepino
Kiira, the director of Galerie Forsblom, came this week to see my new works and discuss our future projects. My daughter says she's my boss but I claimed that there's no hierarchy between us. I hope I'm not wrong, at least I didn't feel any power structure and we had wonderful time together as always.
However, these studio visits are very meaningful, it's a long way from Helsinki to my Spanish village. Kiira was pleased with the new works and we believe that my exhibition in the beginning of next year will be my best painting show ever. 90% of the work is already done, I just have to complete my monumental monochrome series during the summer.
When I was a kid, I did always my homework the afternoon it was given. Now I have to be more organized than ever. Next winter I'm going to have in three months the gallery show and two museum solo shows. It's almost like a schedule of a real art star.
SOLID COLORS AND SYRIA BEHEADED
16 May 2016, Cervera de los Montes
I'm painting a new monochrome series, 100 white and blue squares. Toni, my carpenter makes me the wooden structures but I cut the canvas, iron it, glue it and staple it. The paint needs three or four layers but before that I have to buy the paints, which is fun but challenging, specially with the whites. I use artists' acrylic colors and and acrylic enamels from hardware store. I've learned to avoid real enamels and oil, long drying times would make the work too complicated. I want to finish the 100 monochromes before I turn 40 in the beginning of July.
Most of the artists would hire an assistant to paint solid colors but I'm doing it myseld and meanwhile I have hired Ghanaian film poster artists to paint my figurative work. I just received a photo from Accra, they are giving the final touches to the poster of my imaginary war movie Syria Beheaded.
04 May 2016, Pepino
Media visibility is like an addictive drug. It gives you kicks but you need it constantly and each time a bigger shot. I used to be a public intellectual in Finland - the media asked my opinions about politics, culture, anything. Now I realized that it has been almost two years since I gave my last interview. It just suddenly stopped in 2014 when I joined Galerie Forsblom's roster. Maybe being in the country's best gallery made my fame as an interesting dissident to vanish. I don't know what was the reason of this change but I'm happy because I've got rid of the addiction. I don't miss anymore interviews and seeing my face in papers. The only things I care of at the moment are my paintings and my family.