Jarno Kettunen – Artist Statement & Story
Often when people think about special happenings, places or interesting people, they can see a blurry and fantasy like still image; a memoir from those events and experiences - the most perfect image, an icon of that specific instance. It can be a raised eyebrow, movement of fabric, slight smile, or a feeling associated to visiting a new environment. These icons, which are meaningful and rich sporadic instances - yet easily vanishes - I am fascinated to capture and reproduce.
My Live Action Drawings – an ongoing artistic project that I started in 2007 - are direct, energetic, spontaneous and intuitive representations. By capturing only the essence, they are expressions of moments, experiences and feelings such as short interactions with live models, drawing backstage at fashion shows or capturing the show at concerts or the theater. Inspired by the current popular culture, I draw mostly human figures, but in an abstracted and expressive manner by using techniques of fine arts such as in (Neo) Expressionism.
As a drawer I like to experiment with different techniques but choose them according to each situation. I use mostly gouache, spray paint, markers, glitter, pastels, pochoir and pencils on paper. Often I combine wet and dry media to add richness and layers to the drawings. And recently, I have been working extensively with incorporating make-up products and techniques.
The scale of my drawings is not of much concern, but the carrier needs to be sufficiently spacious to allow necessary freedom of movement. Instead of just using hands or arms to move the marker, I use my whole body to connect with moment, expression and feeling to picture my physical and aesthetic reaction to the subject and the creation process. This approach is instrumental in my artistic expression. The act of drawing becomes a performance. Moving my body in different rhythms results in different type of brush or pencil strokes affecting the aesthetic aspect of the result. Each performance and artistic product is a unique production as much as people’s memoirs of those events and experiences. My art then becomes a vehicle for people to visualize and bring endlessly to a more conscious level such meaningful sporadic instances.
My Encounters With Cancer – Jarno Kettunen
In the winter two years ago I went back to Helsinki to visit my old hometown. There at a party I met a friend of mine after a long time, a man who I have known since I was 10 years old. We went to school together until high school and he has been one of my best friends the whole time. Like all boys do we did lots of wild things together such as making expeditions to abandoned factory buildings, doing graffiti in dirty train tunnels or getting burnt in the sun while swimming in a port area in Helsinki where large ships pass by. At the party as we were catching up after many years my friend told me that he has just won the battle against cancer. I couldn’t believe it as he looked very healthy and fit – the way I have always known him. He told me that he had spent a long time in the hospital and had been in a very bad shape even close to death.
I was very happy and relieved that he had recovered – of course he still needs to have frequent check ups – but this also struck me as we had once lived the same life in the same surroundings, taking the same risks and done same things. I started to wonder why some people get it and why the others don’t? Will I develop cancer later in my life the same way as my friend did? Will I be so lucky to survive it?
I feel lucky that my mother works for the European Cancer Organization so talking to her has dissolved many mysteries for me about cancer, the current cancer research, and cures. As much as the treatments become better and more advanced fighting cancer is still fighting against our own tissue and body as well.
|Jarno Kettunen’s ArtCAN performances sponsored by:
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