Samppa Törmälehto

Born 1977 | Lives and works in Helsinki

Samppa Törmälehto’s paintings are dominated by a rough and expressive color scheme, which is the result of mixing different materials and methods. The human figures are based on reality whereas the fictional ones come from popular culture or the artist’s imagination. The origins of the characters with platypus’ heads or Sandman handing over medicine with the Berlin TV Tower in the background are open for interpretation. According to Törmälehto, each painting has a story of its own, but in most cases the artist has left it for the viewer to figure out.

At first the artworks may seem hazardous, but the compositions on Törmälehto’s canvases are in fact surprisingly deliberate. Still there is always room for spontaneity and color splatters may be transformed into birds or human figures in the painting process. Törmälehto’s paintings are the result of a long progression and countless experiments. They have been painted with emotion and their final outcome is not always clear until the work is finished.

Dark humor is an important factor in Törmälehto’s paintings, which suits the stories and themes inhabiting the works and the absurd world surrounding them. Törmälehto’s works can be found in significant finnish art collections, such as Sara Hildén, Wihuri and Saastamoinen as well as the art museums of Turku and Tampere, and the State of Finland.