They live and work in Lapland, Finland
Raisa Raekallio (b. 1978, Kittilä) and Misha del Val (b. 1979, Bilbao) are a couple and an artist duo who live and work in Kittilä. They make their paintings, sometimes taking turns, sometimes simultaneously, gradually advancing and improvising as like a musical jam session. Each one makes their own contribution to the form and surface of the painting, and to the content and the figures. This close collaboration may sound unusual in painting, but for the couple it has become a totally natural way of working.
This painting together has developed and taken shape slowly and unforcedly. Free-flowing, honest creative energy can be seen in the figures painted in these carefree compositions and in the relaxed approach. The works are filled with colourful details and every figure is unique. Viewers easily enter into the mood that prevailed at the moment of painting.
Depending on the situation, the often disparate figures that Raekallio and del Val paint have gathered together in each other’s company. The reason for this gathering goes unstated, perhaps it is not important. In Samsara the person in the top hat is one of a line of mysterious figures dancing, while elsewhere a figure wearing a Tengu mask – familiar from Japanese folklore – sits beside another dressed in a turban, and also a ghost, in the hot steam on a sauna bench. Nor are the denizens of outer space excluded. Many of the new works may be gloomier in tone than their predecessors, but they bear the same optimistic message about a world in which people from different cultures, religions and communities can gather under the same roof.