Rauha Mäkilä

Photo: Veikko Kähkönen

Rauha Mäkilä's art has been influenced by popular and youth culture in all its diversity: by fashion and pop music. Her paintings are occasionally like images from music videos, with their bright colours and vibrant, glossy surfaces. But these images of fun and revelry involve more than just cool irony and critique, they also reveal the profound sincerity of their subjects, and an unreserved glorification of the joy of being young. Mäkilä’s hectic neon world has occasionally shifted towards earthier tones, revealing the more sombre mysticism of youth, the silent strength, and the vacillation between different roles. Her most recent works ponder the state of the world through her characteristic imagery. She responds to the pitilessness of today’s world with art, and to cruelty with beauty.

Since graduating from the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts in 2007, Rauha Mäkilä’s (b. 1980, Helsinki) works have appeared in numerous solo and collective exhibitions in Finland and abroad, including: the Munch Gallery, New York, 2011; Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, USA, 2015; EMMA – Espoo Museum of Modern Art, Espoo, Finland, 2015; and Landskrona Museum, Sweden, 2017. Her works are included in major collections in Finland, e.g. the Saastamoinen Foundation, Wihuri Foundation, and Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma. Mäkilä’s latest solo exhibition at Helsinki Contemporary, Harmony, was in September 2015. Mäkilä was head of the jury for the Young Artists 2015 exhibition at Kunsthalle Helsinki. Mäkilä participates in a group exhibition in Galleri Thomassen in Gothenburg, Sweden opening in September 2017 together with Hannleena Heiska and Camilla Vuorenmaa. In December 2017, she is one of the 12 artists presented in the group exhibition Klassikot – Classics with WSOY, a joint project where contemporary artists designed new covers for Finnish book classics.