Juha Pesonen

Tampere (1972)

Tampere-based Juha Pesonen has painted his inner conflicts into self- and couple portraits. The paintings on miscellaneous wooden boards and canvas are based on his experiences of a difficult relationship. Pesonen’s art-making, which was inspired by the crisis, has obtained more imaginative and playful features in his later works. The paintings’ main theme is the artist himself in a variety of emotional states and environments.

In addition to painting, Pesonen has expressed his creativity through music, animations and poetry, and he has run arts activities. He also collects wooden folklore figures. Pesonen’s band, Liirum Laarum, has published music videos, animated by Pesonen, on Youtube. In the Mikki Hiiren ihmeellinen tukehtumiskuolema video, Mickey Mouse dies and Donald Duck has to dress as Mickey. At the end, even the production company managers are pushed from the table. Voivottelulaulu is a lament that features a bear bawling its eyes out, and Lohikäärme is a story of vacuuming from a child’s perspective: the mother is vacuuming with a machine – a monster or a dragon – that keeps the mother in its grip and makes a horrible noise.     

Text and photos: Mikko Kallio. Translation: Kirsti Nurmela-Knox.

Erkki Pirtola’s video about Juha Pesonen