Interview: Riitta Nelimarkka
Luca Curci talks with Riitta Nelimarkka during CONTEMPORARY VENICE 2021 – 9TH EDITION and during VENICE INTERNATIONAL ART FAIR 2021 – 14TH EDITION, at THE ROOM Contemporary Art Space and at Misericordia Archives.
Riitta Nelimarkka’s multifacetedness makes her one of the most exciting Finnish visual artists. Her art is characterized by a fearless use of color and form, virtuoso drawing skills and especially by huge textile pictures with amazing characters. She has studied painting in Paris, animation in Stockholm, Art History and music theory at the Helsinki University and piano performance at the Sibelius Academy. She has a doctorate degree in the arts (AALTO University Helsinki 2001). The latest bigger works are the 13 meters long glass painting “Without too much thinking” at Hietaniemi Pavilion 2016, an enormous ‘rug’ “Omnipotentia” to AALTO EE university and the visualization for Debussy’s 5 Preludes for the Radio Symphony Orchestra, and an art film “Per aspera ad astra”, 2017. In 2019 she made a book about her father Antti Nelimarkka and had a big show in Kimmo Pyykkö Art Museum, 2020; in 2021 an immerse textile exhibition La SCALA at Helsinki Music Centre; in September – October 2021 solo exhibitions in Milan and London, and the participation in the Florence Biennale. Riitta Nelimarkka lives in Helsinki, and works in Helsinki and in Bonga, Loviisa. She is married to Jaakko Seeck. They have three sons and six grandchildren.
“Radiating the joy of life, Finnish Professor Riitta Nelimarkka’s remarkable and diversified oeuvre also includes graphic art, textile art, animated films, documentaries, paintings, poetry as well as being renowned as a noted author. Internationally exhibited throughout in Finland and internationally, in England, Sweden, Norway, Belgium, France, Monaco, Italy, Russia, Germany, as well as Peru, U.S.A., Qatar, Marocco and Japan, including several museums like FIDM in Los Angeles, Hallwyl in Stockholm, The National Museum of Lima and Tseretelj in Moscow. Fusing the duality of human beings with fictional characters, her colorful storytelling artworks intermingle the alchemy of the human spirit with remarkable figures that revert between imagination and reality. Filtered through the artist’s perceptions and emotions, she explores the intersection of texture and color, resulting in a dynamic blend of the actual and the imagined which enchant the viewer through its striking composition and incredible coloration optical journey. Undeniably, it is the arresting color palette in these works which immediately impresses upon first sight. Providing a window into a diverse cultural and emotional universe, Riitta Nelimarkka’s dazzling panoramas incandescently illuminate sublime emotional vistas with passion, depth of emotion and sensitivity. In a world of constant change and flux, Riitta Nelimarkka’s compositions reflect hope, renewal and regeneration”. (Chelsea Biennale 2020).
Luca Curci – What’s your background? What is the experience that has influenced your work the most?
Riitta Nelimarkka – My grandfather was a famous painter and professor, my parents were engineers, my mother was a very good pianist. I think there is not one specific experience or any single actor, it is like my way to work with several projects quite simultaneously.
LC – What is art for you?
RN – Art in its deep essence means to me to live life in a creative way; Art also reveals paradoxes, spirits and feelings you have had no idea before.
LC – How is your creative process?
RN – It is simply chaos discussing with order. And I am fond of it.
LC – What is the most challenging part about creating your artworks?
RN – The most wonderful and, why not, challenging part of my creative process (I hate the word ‘creative’!) is drawing and seeing big wholes forward in a minute or less.
LC – Do visitors’ suggestions enrich yourself and your art?
RN – Yes, of course. They always open my eyes to something essential and for new perspectives.
LC – Do you agree with our vision of art and what do you think about the theme of the exhibition?
RN – Your vision gives light and energy. I agree and feel somehow home.
LC – Can you explain something about the video you have in our exhibition?
RN – The video “Bruyères” belongs to PRELUDES, a series of five different preludes of Debussy. The premier of the whole was in Helsinki Musiikkitalo together with the Finnish Radio Orchestra, in 2016. “Bruyères” is a scarlet of dreamlike flashes from the prairies of the unconscious and childhood. The images are mixed-media photomontages. Their rough, drawing-like Cupids, Eroses and little gnomes look as if they have been surprised in the middle of some unexplained act. In the background, there are visions of Monet´s garden in Giverny. This video I like myself, because it is pastellicly and flows softly, and it donates us a meditative moment with a seed of freedom.
LC – Would you suggest a collaboration with us? What do you think about our services?
RN – Thank you, I would be glad to collaborate with you again.
LC – What is your idea about ITSLIQUID GROUP?
RN – I appreciate your fresh and positive attitude which moves and lives in the time.
LC – Do you think ITSLIQUID GROUP can represent an opportunity for artists?
RN – Why not? If that is in your interest and you love your work 🙂 .