Riiko SakkinenBy Orlando Fernández
Riiko Sakkinen, Finnish artist settled in Spain for quite some time now, holder of a vast collection of work, proposes a catalog of drawings arranged on a chromatic surface where phrase and graphic intervention over the wall give unity to the arrangement.
Sour, politically incorrect and visceral, his iconography is taken from the world of ephemeral graphic representations; those that do not pretend to outlive the current relevance of their message. His sources range from the mass media, low cost advertising or street graffiti. But here everything is slightly misleading. Behind the gentle appearance of the loving bear who invites our children to eat sweets with fascinating flavors, hides the perversion of a system that makes use of basic instincts to perpetuate itself. "Human rights damage our economy" says the slogan of one of Riiko’s previous work realized in China. If human rights were to be established in the Asian giant, which inundates the market with cheap products, our economy would tumble. But who cares? We need to consume cheap products to satisfy our comfort yearnings. And if cheap labor is needed to achieve this, then let us embrace immigration, whether legal or illegal. The new proletariat is no longer the trade union laborer or the country pensioner; it is the thousands of sub-Saharan people that knock on our doors demanding to be able to satisfy their comfort yearning too. Perhaps that is the reason why Riiko, a Community Finn of the prosperous north, who lately everyone mistakes for an illegal Ukrainian or Russian immigrant, takes sides and writes "Odiamos a los moros, sudacas y rubios" (We hate Muslims, South Americans and blonds). His medium is the old political graffiti but this time on the wall of the gallery. His phrase on the wall serves as a slogan; his drawings are pastiches with subversive harangues. It is the newbreed political nihilism. Let us destroy it all to start anew.
Orlando Fernández is Madrid based curator.
Originally published in the catalog Muestra de Arte Injuve, 2006.