Solitaire Go to artist's home page:

The man who learned
how to make time still

Timo-Olavi Jalkanen
"Post-tech Romantic"

Interview by J.V.
(this text may be freely copied/adapted/published)
Solitudo Moment Timo in the Vernissage Sanctuarium

Sanctuarium Recreo

Question 1:
You have been characterized as a Romantic style artist. What do you think about it?

My works may have similarities to Romanticism in art history. Anyway, I have said that if I have to be Romantic, I am modern, "Post-tech Romantic",  in the sense that my contemporary romanticism springs up from my rather recent escape of decades long active high-tech career. My style, what ever it is, romanticism if you want, was born in the beginning of the 3rd millennium.

Question 2: To understand your escape and your style, its good to know that in your previous career you worked as a computer and microprocessor systems design engineer in high-tech companies; years for Nokia Corporation, and you were personally involved with people like Bill Gates. How did all that era affect you?

Answer:  Just now I am completely worn out by high technology and by the overwhelmingly flashy and aggressive era we are living in, generally. My works are spontaneous manifestos against all that. I have found quiet, small and local things to be more valuable than the big, noisy and global. Moreover, the life-cycle of a leading-edge high-tech product can be less than a year. Many of the computer products I designed, were after ten years ready for a historical museum, or practically they were garbage. Because of  realizing that, in my art there are no man made objects at all, instead I use eternal motifs. Anyway, In hightech development I learned to work very hard with commitment and concentration. Now I direct that same intensity into creating something new in art.

Question 3: Does it mean that your art style is "something new" ?

Answer: My point of view is new. Actually, the first "When time stands still" -exhibition was almost rejected by the gallery, because some people there considered that it was not modern enough for their avantgardistic profile. It took some time before they accepted my claim that I am the real avantgardist! I see myself as a forerunner who has already returned from urban, flashy, high-tech trip that many artists and art spectators are still going to, or on their way. More than 30 countries I shuttled like a maniac, before I was able to see an eternal and sublime world just 100 meters radius from my home door in Pispala. My inspiration and works come from that small area. I believe that in the future more artist will be in a similar situation, and reject now so common impact-seeking style competing with real-life-media madness.

Question 4: I saw in your guest book an entry by an art student. He viewed your art as a new ideology in strong words: "Urbanism and technology is deadly old fashioned. Your manifesto leads the way". Even writing so, he expressed certain contradiction in his mind. How do you comment on that ?
Answer: Generally, I am surprised that especially young people take my exhibitions as a very modern phenomenon. All their life they have lived with flashy TV and computer screens. That is "deadly old fashioned" for them now! What this art student wrote is the shortest and strongest statement of my art I have ever heard. Without saying whether he likes it or not, he reacted spontaneously. I like that.

Question 5: You have said that in your art you do not search for beauty, your work "Moment" as an example.
Answer: "Moment", as well as many other works of mine, shows an object which is absolutely not beautiful in the common sense of the word. The main aspect for me is emotion, not elegance or visual impact. I view the world in my works at a very instinctive level.

Question 6: You capture "when time stands still" -moments, your work "Solitudo" as an example.

Answer: "Solitudo" is a kind of icon of my preferred spiritual world just now. Very often I look to  the surrounding space through the reflection of a lake. I see remote and infinite sky and space together as an emotional image, rather than a landscape image itself.

Question 7: Some people have seen Japanese or Zen-Buddhist philosophy and meditation in your works, for example in "Solitaire".
Answer: Normally I do not have many elements in my works, and I often show meaningless objects. In "Solitaire" you see only a stone. It looks lonely but proud and independent at the same time. It has all the important, simple elements for perfect existence, and all that characterizes philosophy or meditation for me too.

Question 8: Your works "Recreo" and "Sanctuarium" have been interpreted as religious.

Answer: Work "Recreo" is an installation or a relief. It is made of the bow of a broken wooden row boat. On a wall the bow is in vertical position, and the shape of it looks like a primitive temple. Together with the picture in it "Recreo" is spiritual, or anciently religious without formal confession; an altarpiece if you want.
    One vernissage guest noted about "Sanctuarium", that only the missing Jesus from the beach in the image separates it from the religious fresco she had seen in the Mediterranean chapel. The waves and colours of "Sanctuarium" gave her that  impression. For me the work represents an escape into the sanctuary and peace of the scene, even the waves look a bit wild.
    In my works generally, I keep on searching for eternal divinity, but maybe in philosopher Spinoza's way: "Deus sive Natura". God is Nature in my works, and Nature is God.

Question 9: What are your future artistic goals ?

Answer: To work hard. In the beginning of the year 2005, I am going to complete more than 100 new large works on canvas. Then I'll have a complete museum-scale exhibition ready. That will express the ideology of my art in precise way. Come and see my latest exhibition, and also be welcome to propose good showrooms around the world for it.

Born in Outokumpu, Kuusjärvi, Finland

Mobile phone: +358 44 3450257  (from Finland 044 3450257)
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