Uudenmaankatu
Kirsti Tuokko,
Girls
30.9. - 18.10.2015

Kirsti Tuokko
Tyttölapsia / Girls
30.9. – 18.10.2015
Galleria Huuto Uudenmaankatu

Kirsti Tuokko has painted the gallery full of girls.

Kirsti Tuokko’s deep and emotional portraits of children are stylized paintings. The images painted on Plexiglas are visually layered, created on both sides of the transparent base. Tuokko has scratched a thin drawing line on the surface of the Plexiglas and painted the color surfaces broadly. The images are based on memories, photographs and experiences. Even though they are recognizable and easy to identify with at a general level, they are based on something intimate. The esthetics of the paintings contain references to old photographs, but everything that is too obviously nostalgic and sweet has been effectively eliminated from these references. Tuokko paints with a straightforward and unpretentious approach.

This series of paintings have been created and have evolved over the past couple of years. Four of the paintings were on display in Mänttä as part of the Serlachius Museums’ exhibition The Sin, but most of them are entirely new. The series has been named after Ludmila Ulitskaya’s collection of stories entitled Devochki (“Girls”, in Finnish “Tyttölapsia”).

Tuokko does not paint live models, but her works are so accurately perceptive that one wants to believe in the people in them. It feels like the girls do exist. Even though the simplified faces do not cause a direct recognition reaction, they do lead one to think about the models’ fate. What is going to happen to these girls? What awaits them?

While the atmosphere in Tuokko’s earlier girl images was quiet and sunken into oblivion, the new ones have a different kind of strength. A new large piece shows girls playing musical chairs. The painting has a strong feeling of movement and competition. The loser does not want to stand out from the rest.

The general appearance of the four new peacefully arranged portraits is harsh. All romance has been eliminated from around the girls. Tuokko portrays them as people who are waiting for something. Some are bored, while others are scared. The girls are waiting for time to pass. Their waiting is often desperate.

With regard to Kirsti Tuokko’s paintings, one does not have to be frightened by the word “illustrate”. The vivid characters in her paintings are images of a western child’s growth and hopes in different decades. The works are simplified portraits, skillful summaries and fascinating beginnings of stories. Tuokko tells and illustrates. However, what is essential is the fact that she paints deep and fascinating pieces.

Veikko Halmetoja

Contact information:
Kirsti Tuokko, tuokko(at)hotmail.com, tel. +358 (0)44-335 5181
kirstituokko.fi