Vesa’s art is amongst the most integrally advanced in the history of Western abstraction – no small claim, but one backed up by the works themselves. Rather than abstraction as a fleeing from life, his works are a diving into the incarnate mystery of human being — direct celebrations of the fullness of Life.
Vesa is credited for inventing an entirely new art form – Artevo is a combination of body painting, photography and image manipulation that allows to create works of incredible vibrancy and depth. I am a big fan of his Share series where extreme close-ups of single brushstrokes create a vortex-like effect with paints and textures melting into each other. His works are a symphony of emotions expressed through colour.
When Finnish artist Vesa Kivinen captures your “portrait,” he doesn’t just hint at the contents of your soul—your deepest fears, desires, triumphs, and avenues of personal expression. Vesa brings them all to the surface, creating collage imagery that reveal more about his subjects than even the subjects themselves thought possible. While he is not the first to do this kind of work, he may very well be the best.
Kivinen’s work had no points of reference. Unlike most local artists, Kivinen wasn’t recycling successful foreign approaches and adapting them within a local context. He wasn’t replicating a preexisting genre or playing out well-known devices. Whether for better or for worse, Kivinen is – as childish as this may sound – an original.
It is a pleasure to recognize and appreciate Vesa’s work before he becomes a global star.
These are beautiful images and nobody would dispute it.
I would describe Kivinen’s art as first and fore mostly a study of human experience and connection. It is a collaboration of topics; a personal process of working with the experiences of the model, and an appreciation for the raw human form. Who we are when we stand naked. On another level it is a yearning to understand our religious past and find harmony with it in our present. In sum, it searches and appreciates where we have arrived in our development both spiritually and scientifically.
Vesa Kivinen is a seriously talented storyteller... his works shed light into the power of human creativity.
What occurs is a reinvention of cultural norms as we understand them. It is Postmodern in its very essence, but with an added element of natural rudimentary common in the Renaissance period, which counteracts futuristic notions. Geat art usually involves the combination of beauty, imagination and extraordinary skill, and artist Vesa Kivinen is no exception.
Beautiful and haunting.
It’s almost a hundred years ago since the economist Lord Keynes said: ‘The day is not far off when the economic problem will take the back seat where it belongs, and the arena of the heart and the head will be occupied or reoccupied, by our real problems — the problems of life and of human relations, of creation and behaviour and religion.’ Those of us, who have personally experienced Vesa’s art, can well believe that the era Keynes was talking about is just around the corner.
Your works have the sensitivity of Leonardo’s drawings and the dreamscape of Chagall.
Vesa is a unique artist with a high-frequency spiritual touch that is visible in all his creations, whether it’s paintings or videos, etc. There are so many layers and dimensions in his work. His art is absolutely amazing and intelligent in a divine way.
Besides the great contemporary visionaries, Vesa is one of the few living artists who manages to sneak in through my visual faculties to stroke the soul I don’t even really believe I have. I was instantly smitten the first time I saw his work.
Vesa’s work is deeply inspiring. For many the naked body is taboo, although depicted for thousands of years, but when made into art like this, who can say anything but truly amazing.
It is like primitive rites that have become flesh and colors.
‘Witness history as though it were being lived today; and imagine the present through the eyes of tomorrow. The works are a dialogue between three dimensional physiology and gesture coupled with the aesthetics of two dimensional painting that coalesce into a singular object of art.
Words like primitive, strong and pure spring to mind. the stories of the models have been a part of the creative process. storytelling is present giving you a sense of the artist’s background, yet the viewer seems free to interpret the image as they like and find new ways to look at them.
The beauty of Kivinen’s work is that his pieces can exist at separate stages in time simultaneously, making portions of his portfolio a series of interrelated works that move forwards and backward in time, imagining different possible transformations, and allow for different future possibilities.
What Vesa’s models say:
Flower of Life with Veena Malik
Vesa managed to perfectly capture my life story and the essence of what I have been through while simultaneously bringing it to a much larger context.
Legend with Laura Pilvinen
The participation in these images was a part of my transformations process, which I can strongly find in our completed works. At the beginning I wasn’t sure what I was getting into but now I know just how many experiences richer I am due to it. Vesa was easy to work with and I really felt I was not only a collaborator with my body but we went really deep also in the thought realm, which is clearly visible in the results.
Of course trust was needed in order for me to be able to relax. Vesa is a professional, skilled and gifted artist.
It was evident from the moment I met Vesa that he didn’t operate on the frequency most people live their lives in. His attitude towards his art was passionate and driven in a manner that was beyond and bigger than him, or me. However, the project felt personal and became a free space for me to interpret my life experiences. It wasn’t only a way for him to express himself or to produce something, I wasn’t used for something I didn’t understand but rather I was invited to explore something through means I had not used earlier. Artevo changed my life completely by reminding me I could be the woman I wanted to be, and that message I can carry to all aspects of my life. I believe the more you have battle scars and muted screaming in your being, the more you will benefit from experiencing something as meaningful and shattering as this. Artevo is true art not only as the final piece, but as a process.
Vesa must have an extraordinary gift of seeing. He observes things in an environment where the rest of us are accustomed to walking with blinders on. When we were making this piece in 2011 I did not yet know it but my life was at a crossroads. The result of us working together is perfect to describe it. Vesa pre-saw what was about to happen. He is one of those old and wise men in the shape of a young man. He told me then that a process has begun and I will understand it much better as time passes. He was completely right. The art piece has become more and more real for me along the years. Even the colors are my favorite. If I could tell in one image, what has been one of the most significant experiences of this soul journey, it would be ’Territory’. Thank you Vesa for seeing all this. You shared with me of the most important processes of my life, if not the most significant. The journey continues.
Vesa is without a doubt one of the most passionate artists I have ever worked with. As a full time traveling model and actress I work with different people almost everyday. And few of them care as much about their process as Vesa. Artevo was as much about my emotional and spiritual evolution during the sessions as the final product itself. Vesa took time to get to know me and what makes me tick, what inspires me to create, and what holds me back. I will definitely say that Artevo is not for the faint of heart. It is about letting go of what binds you in life and become part of something brilliant. Which was great lesson for me that I can carry with me every place I go.
At the time many thought that I had lost my mind that I would participate in such a thing. A couple of my good friends said that you can’t at all trust this guy or know who he is. The project was an awesome experience. Vesa managed to create exactly the kind of world that I was feeling at the time. Afterwards I’ve thought many times how much this project allowed me to grow as a human being.