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Mikko Kallio

The Magician and a Play Dough Camera – Works on Paper

Uudenmaankatu 29.12.2013-19.1.2014

Mikko Kallio
The Magician and a Play Dough Camera – Works on Paper
Galleria Huuto Uudenmaankatu

“Mikko Kallio’s works open up a unique world where different kinds of things mix with each other effortlessly. Energy flows, a human hybridizes with grass, deformed creatures stride along, fall and swarm with lines in the flat landscape. Occasionally the creatures gather together and then scatter apart.

It takes a little while for me to get into these landscapes. Then I experience an odd feeling of calmness. I stop valuing things. All the different unique elements sound together like there was a band with inexplicable instruments jamming under the paint.

The works raise a question of whether a person can give a clear meaning or explanation for everything one experiences and whether it is even necessary.”
(Extract from a text by Jarkko Suhonen, MA, 2013)

“When I was eight years old, just before I got my own Kodak A1 camera, I used to take photographs with a play dough camera I had made. I took a photo of my parents and the picture quickly appeared with the help of a pencil and a piece of paper from the ‘developer inside the camera’. Around the same time, I was impressed by a magic show I saw on television and I got my own magic kit.

A child’s play and an artistic creation are very different from one another, but there are some similarities. A child plays by imitating a grown-up, but play often goes beyond the everyday world, turning everything upside down. When creating art, my aim is the opposite of depicting or analyzing reality. My aim is to rebuild the world in my works. The visual world of the works included in the exhibition is, therefore, very different from our everyday environment. For me, art is an attempt to achieve the impossible, to ‘do magic’. The works show human-like characters – clowns, homeless ascetics and acrobats – defying gravity and connecting the earth and sky.

In November I interviewed American artist Ellen Gallagher for a ½ – art magazine article. She talked about the layers of the ocean, the infinity thereof and their connection to the nature of paper. The thought of paper being infinite fascinates me because I work by cutting, adding and removing paper. The marks on the paper are evidence of the changes. The experience of layers that affects my work exists in a forest that has seen wars, saunas being built and babies being born, but also in the layers of nature itself.

My way of working includes the thought that time is not linear, but instead the past, present and future and even the times of day are simultaneous: there is a starry sky next to a warm yellow light. The pieces of a picture form a whole, just like an individual’s experiences, even if unexpected, form one’s world view. The dot and line patterns refer to textiles, our environment and clothes that connect our skin to the world. The clusters of dots in my pictures have been created based on the observations of the ‘noise’ within the human body, the changing. The techniques that I use include markers, different types of pens, cut paper and watercolor.” (Mikko Kallio, 22 Nov 2013)

Mikko Kallio (b. 1971) works currently in Tampere, Finland and in the recent years has also worked periodically in New York City. Kallio´s work is included in collections such as the art collection of the The State of Finland, the Helsinki Art Museum, Finland, the Raimo Anttila Foundation and the Cities of Tampere and Valkeakoski, Finland, as well as in private collections in Finland, Sweden, Denmark and the United States. His works have been exhibited in private exhibitions at the Finlandia University Gallery (Hancock, MI, USA, 2013) and at Taidesalonki Husa (Tampere, 2012) as well as at Galerie TOOLBOX together with visual artist Kati Rapia (Berlin, 2012), at Trygve Lie Gallery together with photographer Jaakko Heikkilä (New York, 2012), at the Pirkanmaa Triennial (Tampere, 2012) and at the Mazzano! -exhibition (Tampere Art Museum, 2012). Kallio’s works can also be seen at the Pierogi Flat Files (Brooklyn, New York, 2011-). Kallio is a member of the board of the Finnish Painters’ Union (2013-) and he worked as a regional artist in Pirkanmaa (Tampere, Finland 2008-11).

The exhibition is open from 29 December 2013 until 19 January 2014
(closed on 31 Dec and 1 Jan)
Opening hours Tue-Sun 12 pm – 5 pm

Thank you Arts Promotion Centre Finland.

Tel. +358 50 346 5032