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Emma Ainala

August, 2013

Emma Ainala creates profoundly imaginative paintings using a logic that works similarly to the logic of dreams, in which familiar things and memories appear in unusual contexts, yet seem to belong there.

Emma Ainala writes:

“I use eternal themes easily construed as cliché or banal, but at the same time, I'm entirely serious, so a certain ambivalence is always present in my work. The greatest thing in painting is the possibility to construct something contradictory yet harmonic. You don't have to be entirely sure what is going on – in fact, it’s sometimes much better when you’re not.

When I've tried to verbalize my paintings, I've noticed that my statements are easily falsified, as truths are multiplicitous – just as they often are in life generally. This observation applies to the essence of my paintings, to what they are constructed from – and also to my overall process. For example, the figures in my paintings are persons; people in a space, yet the spaces are most often faint, disintegrating, and fragmented. The humans are often objects, more like recollections of old paintings, sculptures, flea market art, or newspaper images. The event is not from our reality, yet nor is it from a fairytale. It's something in between – something at once unknown yet oddly, hauntingly familiar.”

Emma Ainala’s works blend diverse historical periods and contain seemingly random art historical references – everything from the mythological imagery of the Pre-Raphaelites to magical realism. Despite the many ways in which Ainala’s imagination seamlessly incorporates diverse times and places, her ways of constructing a painting – which includes occasional gentle visual “pranks” – clearly mark her as a uniquely gifted young artist working right at the contemporary edge.

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