“Finnishness also includes a kind of melancholy, which needs colorful and energetic art, the kind I strive to create, to cheer it up.”
The Finnish Influence and Sami Korkiakoski’s Distinctive Style
Sami Korkiakoski was born in 1978 in Eskilstuna, Sweden, to a Finnish family. At the age of seven, Korkiakoski and his family relocated to Finland, where he has resided ever since. The long, cold winters of Finland, characterized by scarce sunlight, serve as a backdrop to the artist’s life. In central Finland, abundant snowfall during the winter somewhat alleviates the pervasive darkness. Although Finnish summers are often marked by rainfall, they remain undeniably beautiful.
While Korkiakoski acknowledges that it is difficult to determine the exact influence of his Finnish heritage on his art, he suggests that the vibrant colors featured in his works may represent a yearning for light. Given the darkness that dominates the Finnish landscape, his paintings seek to infuse color and joy into everyday life. Furthermore, his art addresses the melancholy intrinsic to Finnish culture, countering it with the colorful and energetic creations he tirelessly strives to produce.
Korkiakoski’s distinctive style is characterized by the use of canvas, where line and rhythm take center stage. Often employing paint directly from the tube, the colors blend seamlessly on the canvas. The artist also incorporates spray paint and spatulas, resulting in a highly textured and dynamic surface due to the thick application of paint in certain areas.
The narrative aspect of Korkiakoski’s works is often concealed beneath layers, with signs and gestures emerging most prominently. However, closer examination may reveal hidden figures within the paintings. Primarily utilizing oil paint as his medium of choice, Korkiakoski creates pieces in various sizes. Yet, his true passion lies in the production of large-scale works, which allow him to fully express the range of emotions and engage his entire body in the creative process.
The Creative Process and Pursuit of Continuous Evolution
Sami Korkiakoski consistently derives the greatest satisfaction from his most recent creations. Frequently, upon examining earlier works, he feels compelled to reimagine and expand upon them. In instances where a piece remains unsold, Korkiakoski acknowledges the inherent risk of continuing to work on it, ultimately transforming it into something entirely new. It is crucial for the artist to exercise restraint to prevent overpainting, as he believes that the layered nature of his paintings contributes to their intrigue. Striking the delicate balance between completion and the ceaseless creative process is a challenge that Korkiakoski often compares to walking on a knife’s edge.
The artist’s dedication to his craft is evident in his willingness to work for up to 12 hours without pause. Korkiakoski’s creative process transcends the confines of his studio, as inspiration may strike during a leisurely walk, in front of the television, in a sauna, or while listening to music. His sources of inspiration encompass a wide array of influences, including Buddha statues, African and Oriental art, children’s drawings, layered wall paintings, television, movies, music, and advertisements.
Korkiakoski’s most profound ideas often emerge during periods of intense immersion in his work, when the act of painting occupies his thoughts to the point of sleeplessness. During these moments, he may experience a sudden insight or revelation. Furthermore, the artist finds inspiration in the act of dismantling a work he deems excessively cluttered. The subsequent liberation he experiences in starting afresh on a new canvas frequently gives rise to some of his most exceptional pieces.
The Evolution of Line, Rhythm, and Color in Korkiakoski’s Art
In 2002, Sami Korkiakoski delved into the exploration of line and rhythm, marking a turning point in his artistic journey. Prior to this, his creations primarily consisted of realistic human figures. Gradually, these figures transformed into more expressive representations, ultimately leaving only the essence of emotion behind. Korkiakoski found fascination in the concept of body memory as it pertained to his artistic lines. On occasion, he would unintentionally recreate the same curve, mark, or thought from two decades earlier. Although his art revolves around the quest for novelty, the artist is captivated by the reemergence of familiar elements that persistently resurface, awaiting resolution.
Nearly a decade ago, Korkiakoski began to consistently incorporate black lines into his work, resulting in a predominantly black and white palette. Concurrently, he experimented with large-scale painting installations, exhibiting hundreds of paintings sprawled across floors and walls, with some pieces extending from the canvas onto the surrounding surfaces. These installations graced museums and galleries, and their unique hanging style left a lasting impression on the artist, occasionally reappearing in his exhibitions.
Black paint has remained an integral component of Korkiakoski’s work, and to this day, it retains its significance. However, color has also emerged as a powerful presence in his art. The artist now investigates not only line and rhythm but also color. Through meticulous experimentation and process, each hue is deliberately chosen to complement his pieces. Embracing this vibrant addition, Korkiakoski now revels in the world of color that embellishes his artwork.
The Artist’s Studio: A Sanctuary for Creativity and Inspiration
The studio serves as the ultimate source of inspiration for Sami Korkiakoski. Upon commencing a painting, the artist becomes so deeply engrossed that sensations of hunger, fatigue, and time fade away. The ideal environment for Korkiakoski’s creative process is one abundant in light and serenity. The ability to hear one’s own thoughts and achieve mental tranquility is crucial for maintaining concentration while working.
Due to the large scale of his artwork, Korkiakoski requires ample space for his creative endeavors, as he often works on multiple pieces simultaneously. The artist frequently moves around while painting, observing his work from various distances to grasp the entirety of the composition. Fortuitously, Korkiakoski has a spacious studio to accommodate his needs. Nevertheless, he contends that when creating large-scale works, a studio can never be too expansive. High-quality audio equipment is another essential aspect of his creative process. Although Korkiakoski often seeks rhythm, power, enthusiasm, and emotion in music to accompany his painting sessions, there are times when he prefers to paint in silence, listening only to his inner thoughts.
Korkiakoski’s aspirations revolve around the freedom to create art in his unique style and the opportunity to showcase it on a broad scale. A loftier dream of his is to exhibit his work in one or more of his favorite galleries worldwide. Ultimately, he wishes for as many people as possible to experience his artwork. For Korkiakoski, each painting represents a thrilling adventure and, in its own right, a dream project.