Jaanus Samma, ‘Collection of Toilet Pulls’, 2017, Temnikova & Kasela

About Jaanus Samma

Driven by curiosity and an interest in experimentation and collaboration, Jaanus Samma works across media to explore the intersection of private life and public space, systems of control and natural impulses, and the history of homosexuality in Estonia and the former Soviet Union. Samma was trained in printmaking, but his projects are too wide ranging to be categorized by a single medium. “I like to be versatile, to try out new techniques,” he says. Among the leading wave of younger artists in Estonia, he represented his country at the 56th Venice Biennale, presenting the encompassing story of a gay man in Tartu who was punished and eventually murdered for his sexuality. Another project involved a series of hand-knit sweaters featuring sexually explicit graffiti that the artist observed in various European cities.

Estonian, b. 1982