• Sampo Laaksonen: Mother of Everything, 2018, akryyli ja kollaasi kankaalle, 73,5 x 92,5 cm
  • Sampo Laaksonen: Children of the Sea I, 2018, akryyli ja kollaasi mdf-levylle, 17 x 20,5 cm
  • Sampo Laaksonen: Helmet, 2018, akryyli ja kollaasi kankaalle, 46,5 x 60 cm
  • Sampo Laaksonen: Self-Portrait, 2017, kollaasi pahville, 44 x 32 cm
  • Sampo Laaksonen: This Used to Be a Nice Neighbourhood, 2018, sekatekniikka kankaalle, 61 x 80 cm

Sampo Laaksonen

THE TRASHMAN WILL COME EVENTUALLY

29.3.-21.4.2019

Sampo Laaksonen
THE TRASHMAN WILL COME EVENTUALLY
29.3 – 21.4.2019

On Good Friday 19th of March and on Easter Sunday 21st of April the gallery is open 12-5.pm.
On Easter Monday the gallery is closed as usual.

You can count on a trashman. He will come and collect what we throw away. How liberating it is to throw out unnecessary food packaging, advertisements and other junk that seems to appear out of nowhere. The less we think about the final disposal of our trash, the better it feels to throw it out. However, when we get rid of waste, don’t we also get rid of a part of us? Our waste is the result of our choices and, in a way, it represents us.

What if we turn the focus directly to us: what happens to us when we become unnecessary? Imagining oneself as biodegradable waste is perhaps not the most noble thought and may cause anxiety for some, but as a thought it is surely more comforting than us not decomposing at all. Biodegradable waste is the “good guy” among waste and our decomposing bodies are a small problem in comparison to the mountain of waste created by our lifestyle. Thinking about that mountain really causes anxiety.

I have kept my trash for several years. Not everything, of course, but it has been difficult to throw out the most interesting pieces. Trash appeals to one’s mind that has been marinated in entertainment and advertising imagery and besides, it offers free material for an artist. I am also inclined to think that the recycling of materials in art (or anything else) is an eco-friendly act. Reuse of trash does not only ease my conscience, it is also comforting at a deeper level – perhaps the evil can be turned into something good.

Part of my trash has ended up in the works featured in this exhibition. I have also otherwise tried to use recycled materials as much as possible. One of the catalysts for the exhibition was the moment when I found a bunch of stretcher bars in a dumpster. Almost all of the frames, with the exception of the canvas, have been recycled or are so-called scrap materials. I have found materials for my collages from flea markets and antique shops to add to my own supplies. What was not recycled was painted on. Even though the use of acrylic paints is not suitable for an ecological agenda, it is a good reflection of our world. I couldn’t think of a technically more suitable way to include plastic, the key material in waste discussions, in my works.

My works are portraits of a human. Humans always leave a concrete mark. Sometimes it is organic: an imprint on peaty soil or residue on bathroom tiles. Sometimes it is synthetic: a pile of trash bags or a plane wreck. When making the works, I looked into the mirror and saw biodegradable parts. It is comforting. Perhaps the trashman will not be needed.

Sampo Laaksonen (b. 1981) is a Helsinki-based painter who earned a bachelor’s degree in fine arts from the Kankaanpää Art School in 2008 and a Master of Arts degree from Aalto University in 2015. He combines painting and collage techniques in his works.

Further information:
laaksonen.sampo(at)gmail.com
+358 50 412 6927
sampolaaksonen.blogspot.com