30 October 2008, Cervera de los Montes
Maybe I should concentrate now in the boring photoshopping of the 300 images for the Encyclopedia installation at Golden in Chicago, where I’m going on Sunday, but I’m too excited about the exhibition that I’m curating for Korjaamo. I curated a show called “First In, First Out, First In, First Serve” in Cuenca in 2001 and then decided that curating wasn’t for me but when Aura and Timo proposed me to do something for Korjaamo’s smaller space – same time that I have a solo show in the bigger space – I didn’t think twice.
The show will be titled Trickle-down Theory - If I Get 10 Lexus SUVs, You Might Get a Pair of Flip-flops. Trickle-down theory is a term of right-wing political rhetoric that refers to the policy of providing tax cuts or other benefits to businesses and rich individuals, in the belief that this will indirectly benefit the broad population. The term has been attributed to the Will Rogers - Cherokee cowboy, humorist, social commentator and vaudeville performer - who said during the Great Depression that "money was all appropriated for the top in hopes that it would trickle down to the needy".
My reference in curating is Hou Hanru and Hans-Ulrich Obrist’s Cities on the Move that landed in Kiasma when I was working there as a guide. Then I thought that it was the prefect example of star curators not leaving any space to the artists. The exhibition was too full, too chaotic, too real. Now I think that all that makes it to be the best show I’ve ever seen.
DEEP OPERATIONS IN HELSINKI
27 October 2008, Cervera de los Montes
An offensive is a military operation that seeks through an aggressive projection of armed forces to occupy territory, gain an objective or achieve some larger strategic, operational or tactical goal.
My goal is to be the most famous artist in the world. And before dominating the world I must achieve the total control of Helsinki, my home field. This is planned to happen next March. I'll have a solo show of my paintings at Korjaamo and, in their smaller space, I curate a group show. Just after that, Amos Anderson Art Museum hosts a large scale exhibition of Jani and me where we show mainly our new collaborative work. One day after that inauguration the new collection display opens in Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art with my big wall painting installation.
This is called deep operations, a military doctrine developed by Mikhail Tukhachevsky, the chief of the Red Army and Marshal of the Soviet Union. Basically, it's a maneuver by multiple formations simultaneously. It is not meant to deliver a victory in a single battle, but rather multiple operations conducted in parallel or successively are meant to guarantee victory
THE CHIASMATIC DAY
22 October 2008, Helsinki
I was today in Kiasma planning the installation I do for their collection display in March. Pirkko and Leevi hav an open and flexible attitude with the collection, they see it more a starting point than a substance itself. They have only seventeen of my drawings but I'll lend them more and do a big wall painting.
I loved to back as an Artist in the museum where I worked as a guide during my studies. Everybody was pleased to fulfill all my wishes. They take great care of my drawings but it means that the luminous flux level must be rather low and my work will be exhibited in a cathedral-like semi dark atmosphere.
When I was leaving, Pirkko gave me an envelope containing 100 euros. She said that I can go to have some beers but I ran to Stockmann to buy some new Moomin DVDs for my daughter. She needs them more and Jani, my best friend, can pay my drinks.
HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE
20 October 2008, Cervera de los Montes
Tomorrow, I’m flying to Helsinki - my home field. It’s the only place were I’m sometimes celebrated, admired and hailed.
This time, my flight is paid by Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art. I have a meeting there with Pirkko on Wednesday to plan my installation for their next collection display in March. On Thursday, I meet Korjaamo’s Aura and Timo and we discuss my solo show in February. Later I have a coffee with Taide Magazine’s Arja and we talk about my new article series. After that, I’m going to a group show opening – with my work included - at the Academy of Fine Arts. On Friday, I have a meeting about a possible art TV show (the details are top secret) that I could host in future. In the afternoon I'm going to a smaller Helsinki museum to plan an important exhibition next Spring.
And finally on Saturday, I’m going to help my mother in decorating their new home. I gave her as a housewarming present my intense yellow 2003 painting La Reina de la Playa.
REBELLIOUS ART FOR THE KIDS
16 October 2008, Cervera de los Montes
My idea of myself is a subversive and dangerous artist that the authorities fear and hate. I believe that my art is corrosive to the Godzilla capitalism and the Hello Kitty art world.
This week, my conviction was demolished when I got a telephone call from Otava – one of biggest publishing houses in Finland. They wanted to include my drawing Taikonaut’s Breakfast Power in their art history book for children. I was happy for the money they paid for the copyright but it made me doubt all my activity. Does this mean that my rebellion is just something cute and correct? Do they see just the surface of the Nestle’s breakfast cereals sold in China?
Adil said that it’s going to raise an army of future fans but I hope that it’s going to breed a revolutionary units of child soldiers throwing Molotov cocktails to the art museums that are nothing more than symbols of corrupted power.
MY FAVORITE BANKS (UPDATED)
13 October 2008, Cervera de los Montes
Last winter, I was listing the biggest banks of the world as my favorite banks. Now I think I must be more serious and update my list because of the financial crisis. This top 20 hot list consists of the bankrupt or acquired banks during the crisis. The only good bank is a bankrupt bank. The only good banker is a dead banker.
MY FAVORITE BANKS
Alliance & Leicester
American International Group (Presumed to be nationalized tomorrow)
Bradford & Bingley
Catholic Building Society
Cheshire Building Society
Derbyshire Building Society
Merrill Lynch (presumed to bankrupt tomorrow)
Royal Bank of Scotland (Repeats in my list)
A COMPREHENSIVE SCOPE OF THE WORLD
10 October 2008, Cervera de los Montes
I’m scanning all night long fast food and prostitution for my Encyclopedia (that will be shown in November at Golden in Chicago). My wife says it’s disgusting, repulsive and gaudy. I reply that I don’t want to compose a pleasing, cute and tasteful Encyclopedia because the world is not like that. And I try give a realistic image of the existing state of affairs.
All the encyclopedias, from the Britanica to mine, are limited, narrow and subjective. Most of the traditional encyclopedias begin with the Finnish Architect Alvar Aalto. Mine goes like this:
2X1, 24/7, 60% Discount, 100 times, All American Escorts, Anpanman, Baby Star, Bachi Bachi, Baseball Cream, BBQ Girl, Beijing Schoolgirl, Bollycao, Bubbly Blonde, Chili Dog Diet, Conguito, Cowboy Cow, Cup Noodles, Dancing Bear, Domination, Döner kebab, Dunkaroos, Eden, Fritos Ketchup, Frosties Jedi...
06 October 2008, Cervera de los Montes
In July 2002, I went with Rivane to a group show opening at Stephen Friedman Gallery. I had graduated one month before and I had a kick start for my career at a residency hosted by Camden Arts Centre. In the opening, there was friendly middle aged man who said that he was a Belgian gallerist. I was sure that he just wanted to sleep with me when he said that he wanted to go to my studio to see my work.
I was wrong, Bert really came next morning 9am to Delfina Studios and I showed him my drawings. He said that it was very close to be the best work he had ever seen and signed me immediately for Transit, the gallery he runs with his partner Dirk. I went to meet them in Mechelen in September, had my first real solo show at the gallery in early 2003, later that year I moved for few months to live in Belgium and I became almost like a son for them.
Now it’s all over. Today, I said to Bert that I don’t want to work anymore with the gallery. I think it wasn't surprise because our marriage had been cold as ice for a longer period. He didn’t want to schedule my next show in the gallery, he didn't take my work to any art fair. and I barely got anymore replies to my e-mails. I was clearly relegated to the second division of the gallery artists. Now I tried to play my cards well threatening that if I don’t get upgraded, I leave the gallery. It didn't work out. I lost a gallerist and maybe one of my best friends, too.
THEY ATE TEENS FROM TOKYO
03 October 2008, Cervera de los Montes
Two weeks ago Katja and Jani ate my drawing Teens from Tokyo but it was today when the action appeared in a newspaper. Katja and Jani are celebrity artists in Finland and I think they do whatever to be in the headlines. Even though they are fame addicted, they both have an enormous quality as artists.
The weekly supplement of the leading Finnish newspaper Helsingin Sanomat had asked Katja to invite another celebrity for a dinner at her place. Katja invited Jani, who is my best friend, and served him the drawing (she bought it last year) with strawberries and champagne. The journalist phoned me and asked my opinion. I pretended to be surprised and angry, though Katja had informed me, and I said that my revenge is to buy their next entire shows and eat them with tomato ketchup