A Retreiver of Images
Anssi Jääskeläinen is an artist whose works combine many elements, some even contradictory. His illustrated figures convey fear, vulnerability, glances from marginality, but also warm-spirited humour, life in the fast lane, sexuality, and a masculinity occasionally manifesting itself as uncertainty. The works are also linked by a kind of anatomical and sensory deficiency in the figures being depicted. Jääskeläinen's subjects may lack hands, or a torso, or their limbs are contorted into anatomically impossible positions. A black blood-like substance impairing vision issues from the nose and eyes. Whether it describes a wounded person's fear or a transformation to or from another plane of existence remains unexplained.
Another characteristic of Anssi Jääskeläinen's works is their particular attention to revealing human details; these include women's names etched into the skin, hands that become accordions, skin covered by black crucifixes. A common thread linking these details is the mechanism of memory, not only the mind's way of remembering, but also the body's recollections and sensory perceptions. Without exception Jääskeläinen's works present only one person at a time, typically pictured against a blank background in a situation where the edges of the white paper insulate the subject from the rest of the world.
Anssi Jääskeläinen's works are created through a process in which real-world experiences are filtered through the artist's memories, imaginary images, dreams, as well as stream of consciousness, and free associations whose inconsistencies defy replication. Owing to these factors Jääskeläinen's works cannot be traced back to the visual observations he has made here and there. It is not a question of portraiture, or representation in general, wherever you look. Jääskeläinen's works do not delineate existing persons; they depict the continuous process of what it means to be human. A person attaches greater significance to evolving emotions - historically as well as during the moment now transpiring - than the forms and expressions, such as the body, in which they occur. In his works Jääskeläinen portrays his thoughts, emotions and knowledge of the human condition by transforming them to images in the truest sense of the word.