Essu Koskinen is a painter whose works are strong, mystical and located outside time. Operating in the world of stories and myths they approach those experiences that are hard or even impossible be verbalized. Confronting these paintings one confronts something bigger than life.

Koskinen (b. 1972, lives and works in Espoo, Finland) paints nature, fairy tales, animals and characters that partly disappear into the vortex of colours and vivid brushstrokes. Paintings challenge us to face things outside our common everyday world and influence the way we see our surroundings. They tell stories but there is also space for different interpretations. Even when dark in colour they are not dreary but deep, reflecting the whole spectrum of our being: there is menace but there is also hope, and sense of the finality of all. Our time here is limited and the realization makes us recognize the value of moment and evokes a feeling of holiness. At one time Koskinen’s paintings are merciful – there is no need for them to be perfect but the sovereignty of painting demonstrates value in imperfections, disharmony and disorder.

To dare and to surrender are key elements in Koskinen’s working method. The process, as Koskinen describes it, is “a battle with ego and the painting. In ideal situation the painting wins, but you have to give it a good opposition”. Koskinen’s paintings are located outside a certain time and space and they deal with those areas of experiences that are hard to represent. Being freed from verbalizing and concepts leads to freedom in painting and choosing subjects. Koskinen paints topics that have always existed but are frequently brushed aside in everyday life or don’t have an obvious form. World is not a simple place, nor inside or outside the paintings, but it is rewarding and fascinating.

Anna Jensen
Curator, Art critic and Doctor of Arts