Riku Mäkinen: Compounds
Galerie Forsblom, 30.9.¬–23.10.2016
Opening with the artist in attendance, 29.9 at 17.00–19.00
Riku Mäkinen’s (b. 1974) collages look as if they were in perpetual motion: his geometrical silk paper cutouts crisscross and interlock as if constantly searching for a comfortable spot on the aluminum surface. Some are punctuated by details resembling miniature pipe joints, which give the appearance of tying together the slips of paper. The translucent paper has a weightless, immaterial quality; together with the reflective aluminum, it keeps shifting and changing depending on the lighting of the space. In his new works unveiled at Galerie Forsblom, Mäkinen has switched to a brighter palette of colors and a larger scale.
Mäkinen assembles and pastes the paper cutouts directly onto the metal surface: his collages come together through a gradual, phase-by-phase process, whereby the composition is reworked over and over again, often many times. Traces of the process are clearly visible on the rough, scratchy surface, adding a temporal dimension to the works, which celebrate the aesthetic of mechanical romanticism. Mäkinen developed his technique while studying printmaking at the Academy of Fine Arts. In his art, the precision of silk-screen printing finds a liberated interpretation in the form of painterly collage that walks the tightrope between soft ambiguity and the crisp, clean lines of Russian-inspired avant-garde.
In addition to studying in the master’s program at the Helsinki Academy of Fine Arts, Mäkinen has also studied sculpture and media art at the Lahti Institute of Design and Fine Arts. He has served as a visiting lecturer at many Finnish art schools, and his work is found in collections including the Collection of Finnish State Art and the Sara Hildén Foundation.