At the Gallen-Kallela Museum from
10 September 2017 to 14 January 2018
Press conference at 1 p.m. on Thursday, 7 September
The opening of the exhibition will be held from 3 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, 9 September
Well-known works of art have turned into tattoos in the Gallen-Kallela Museum’s new exhibition of photographs.
Over a period of around two years, media artist Harri Larjosto and the Gallen-Kallela Museum searched for people with tattoos based on works of art. The numbers of classic artworks living on human skin exceeded all expectations. Larjosto went on to photograph and interview one hundred people.
‘People have surprisingly serious reasons for bearing a picture, art on their skin, throughout their lives,’ says Larjosto. People reveal their own moving, fascinating and amusing stories through this highly intimate exhibition and its book.
Artworks living on the skin provide a new perspective on the meaning of art in the present age. Since the 1990s, tattoos have become increasingly popular, resulting in an outright boom as part of mainstream personal decoration. Many people with tattoos of artworks, however, seek to make a distinction from the mass. Images of art are felt to have a deeper meaning and value, being attached to history and culture. At the same time, tattooed works of art are transferred from museums and the pages of books to completely new settings and to be part of people’s lives.
Among the tattooed works, the most popular artist proved to be Akseli Gallen-Kallela with The Defence of the Sampo (1896) and other subjects from the Kalevala epic. For many people, the tattooing of classics of Finnish art was associated not only with the idea of their own roots but with an appropriation of national symbols: the shared cultural heritage must not wind up solely the property of nationalists.
Other artists whose works were reproduced on skin include Hugo Simberg, the von Wright brothers, Alphonse Mucha, Edvard Munch, Salvador Dalí and Leonardo da Vinci.
The book Kuva ihollani (The Picture on my Skin, in Finnish) issued by Maahenki publishers will appear in connection with the exhibition.
This exhibition is part of the official programme of the centenary of Finnish independence.
Further information and interview requests:
Art related news:
Inheritor _ Perillinen short movie Premier in May, screening in Mänttä Art Festival 11.6.-31.8.2017 .
Tattooed Artworks exhibition and book at Akseli Gallen Kallela Museum starts september 9th.
We are Natives of Somewhere exhibition at Estonia, Parnu Linna Gallerii, 20.9. – 14.10.
Personally Harri is studying to start new hobby: Apiary, bee gardening :-).
101 documented people now, Artworks new life on the skin. Here some most recent:
Malevits (parts of suprematism woks 003 & 006) , Japanese woodprints’ parts from Edo era, Hugo Simberg (death ice skating), Hilma af Klint Swan no 1, Kandinsky (dancer), Axel Gallen Kallela (part of Aino triptyk, here Aino with burlesque tassel), Michelangelo (Pieta). Artists and people are named when project is ready (book and exhb 2017).
Some news at the end of the year 2015.
Harri was placed in two art history books: Amos Anderson Artmuseum 50y history book and Jokapaikan valokuva – Digitalization of Finnish Photography 1992–2015 by prof Merja Salo.
Harri got grant by Kone Foundation to continue preparing documentary exhibition and book about tattooed artworks 2017 to Alseli Gallen Kallela Museum.
2016 starts with exhibitions and working on projects.
– Voipaalan taidekeskus, Valkeakoski, I got You under my skin, 13.2.-10.4, group exhibition
– Kuntsin modernin taiteen museo, Vaasa, UN/SAFE, 13.2-8.5.2016, group exhibition
Harri works on Tattooed Artworks project and Short movie ”Antroposen”.