Melina Paakkonen creates theatrical paintings portraying moments of play through stories. The motifs stem from the relationship between life and death, catastrophizing, and delightful, sometimes humorous, situations. Paakkonen’s works are characterized by the use of symbols, colorfulness and decorativeness. They also combine visual, art historical elements bringing them up to date.
Paakkonen’s central theme is control and the loss of control. She seeks to create a space within the randomness and occasional inevitability of life where events can be viewed from a distance. Her paintings obliterate the line between everyday life and the carnival. They also blur any hierarchical boundaries between the figures depicted in her canvases, positing humans, animals and death as equal players on the stage of life.
Scenes is an exhibition that turns the focus is on experiences of impermanence and separation. The transitory situations, emotions and expressions staged in the paintings are playful and deadly serious at the same time. The stories in Paakkonen’s pictures have no endpoint, they are unresolved explorations of how to live and understand.
This exhibition is supported by the Finnish Cultural Foundation.
Melina Paakkonen (b. 1989) is a Finnish painter based in Helsinki. Her highly original, decorative and surrealistic paintings are characterised by carnivalism and anthropomorphism. Paakkonen graduated from the Arts Academy at Turku UAS in 2019. She has previously held solo exhibitions at the ARTag and Halmetoja galleries in Helsinki. In addition to many private collections, her works are featured in the Lars Göran Johnsson collection at the Turku Art Museum.