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Youth, Popular Culture and Fragility: Portraits by Rauha Mäkilä
Inspired by fashion, pop music and popular culture in general, Finnish artist Rauha Mäkilä (born 1980) paints images of young people using vibrant neon colours, often giving them translucent and glossy surfaces. The figures sometimes have their senses absent or blocked – for instance, a girl has a blindfold, two others do not have mouths. The artworks celebrate both the joy and glory of youth and highlight its aches and confusions through elements of irony and critique, capturing – as the artist writes in her statement -“the fragility of wavering between different roles”. As a creative individual, she “responds to the pitilessness of today’s world with art, and to cruelty with beauty”.
Rauha graduated from the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts in 2007. Her works have appeared in numerous solo and group exhibitions in Finland and abroad, including: the Munch Gallery, New York, 2011; Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, Helsinki, 2012; and Amos Anderson Art Museum, Helsinki, 2012. Her paintings are in major collections in Finland, e.g. the Saastamoinen Foundation and Wihuri Foundation.
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