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Art is life
by Alexandra Pereira
2007-01-11 08:20:43
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With its first edition in the winter of 2006 and the next issue announced for February 2007, this innovative free arts magazine is an event to applaud! The artist Bruno Maximus is the editor-in-chief of Gallery, a Helsinki-based magazine soon to become multilingual and which aims to serve both individual artists and the galleries around the city.

They hope to achieve this by introducing and advertising their private works, plus by giving galleries and museums the opportunity to get out of their often aseptic and elitist environment shell to conquer and seduce new versatile audiences.

Art is life, so its place is on the street – this concept seems to inspire Gallery. Free as the air that we breathe, one can find it in several places around the town. As a creative dive or a lively colour in a brand new painting, still smelling like oil or acrylic.

On the other hand, Gallery does not seek to label, analyse or review art works, but rather to let the reader choose freely, according to his own aesthetic sensibility, among the art works and exhibitions presented. Culture is an idiosyncratic path which defies you to create your own concepts and visions of life.

Thus, most of the articles also included in this magazine are reflexions on art, galleries and the creative process – and the last page is always reserved to offer the readers and art lovers the testimony of a particular artist. Gallery magazine – for everything you need to know about Helsinki visual arts for the next two months… and for pleasurable visual experiences!

The human body, issues related with genre and power structures, the use of animals as metaphors to human behaviors, the criticism of religion’s dogmas, the strong use of technology, new artistic techniques and materials, the environmental worries, the bucolic landscapes re-thought as backgrounds to current themes and preoccupations, or as natural sceneries to caricatures, pop, technology and urban life – all these aspects are strong marks of the Finnish contemporary art works.

Some artists try to represent the rural-urban and natural-artificial conflicts in a humoristic way, because that main theme is here more evident and prevailing than in other latitudes. As there was no magic realism to balance this opposite tendencies (this art movement seems to be almost inexpressive in Finland), surrealist painters and artists play an important role when it comes to conciliate naturalism and pure abstraction /the Russian heritage).

But new names with neo-pop views are also important, as it is the case of Jiri Geller or M. L. Henriksson, for instance. Provocation and versatility are, in fact, the main notes when we talk about some of the promising new names in finnish art: from androgyne vindication to the religious dogmas outbreak, from the analysis of traditional gender roles to the apotheosis of the new, fragmented and violent urban life, from handicraft to cyberspace, from the forests quietness to the financial opportunity to travel all around the world and absorb original influences.

Finnish contemporary art fury is the product of a set of variables which are favourable to artistic creation and arose recently in this Nordic country: good economic conditions and social security support for the artists, new art fans and wealthy collectors willing to buy contemporary art works, the galleries proliferation and the effective way how finnish artists are promoted abroad, the interest of a vast audience in the art produced, the artistic education of the most recent generations, who consume art since a young age, and finally the urban culture, which – by reaction to a growing massification of the societies – demands constantly for new expressions of individualism and originality, new fashions, new artistic styles and new forms of beauty.


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