Born 1989 I Lives and works in Turku, Finland
Harri Puro’s new paintings are rooted in a study of his personal, external and internal environment, and in observation of his own mind. In its themes this body of works occupies a different realm from that of his exhibition a year ago, which scrutinized the modern individual and society. Due to the aberrant year, Puro’s time has increasingly been spent at home, in smaller circles. And more in one place. As his sphere of existence has been reduced and the pace slowed, he has found time for contemplation and for monitoring his own thoughts. All this is reflected in the time spent in the studio, the result being these introspective paintings. Where the pictures that were the source of the paintings in his previous exhibition were mainly fished out of the torrent of images on the Internet, on this occasion, the starting point for the new works is Puro’s photographs and drawings of his immediate circle.
With this change in subject matter, the marks of the brush have also developed by leaps and bounds towards a more abstract idiom. The figures are still there in the paintings, but without directing Puro’s working process as they did before, and occasionally even break up completely to mingle with the rest of the whole. Instead, Puro has tried to allow the painting to steer the working process, and has replaced plans with intuition. The resultant spontaneity is interesting to look at, both for the viewer and for the artist himself. The final artwork is the outcome of an alternation between creative and destructive acts. The exhibition’s title, Fell Out of Bed and Never Landed, refers to finding a balance between abstract and representational painting, but also to the state of precarious wakefulness caused by Puro’s problems with sleeping.
He has previously been inspired by the baroque and the Renaissance, but, in the past year, his gaze has turned to big names of the 19th and 20th centuries, such as Paul Gauguin and Edvard Munch. Discovering oil paints has brought a new energy and enthusiasm to Puro’s working process, which is clearly reflected in this new, brilliantly coloured body of artworks.