Thick, impenetrable layers of black paint – hair and a hat, beard, shirts, jackets. Vibrant colours, nearly fluorescent, contrast the black. Yellow background pushes the figures forward. Orange around the eyes or, elsewhere, touches of green tie couples together. Splashes of pink grant the female figures defiant femininity. Only some bare skin appears translucent, vulnerable even, with depth accessible for the gaze.
The paintings ooze youth and beauty, unbearably effortless style. To those on the know, the titles spell out what is, for some, also instantly recognisable in the images: a diva, a band, a song. The figures seduce, tease with their unattainability, achingly cool. They often avoid eye contact yet, simultaneously, reach out towards the viewer with their gestures and powerful visual presence. Close yet always in a distance. They are all on the surface, all about the surface, but this does not imply superficiality.
Rauha Mäkilä’s paintings are electrified by the popular audiovisual culture they take inspiration from.
source: Taru Elfving - Writer and curator