Artist-Sub-Page 62 -Jouko Lehtola
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Jouko Lehtola has always been interested in people who are not "average”. He has a passionate hunger to uncover that which is normally hidden from our everyday life, and his camera has given him access to people he would never otherwise meet. From this starting point, Lehtola’s specific focus over the years has been quite diverse, from shooting rockers and stoners, to documenting the material aftermath of violence and death. Whatever the subject, Lehtola’s eye always directs us – compellingly and even lovingly – toward the edges of our shared world.
Regarding Some Girls, this current series of transvestite portraits, Lehtola got the idea in 2006 when he heard about “the hottest transvestite scene in Europe” happening every night near Barcelona’s Camp Nou Stadium. But it wasn’t until 2008 that Lehtola finally arranged to enter this unfamiliar and somewhat intimidating world. He recalls the amazing nights in which he won the trust and participation of his subjects, not just at the famous stadium but also at other hot spots where transvestites wait for customers, and even in their own homes.
For Lehtola, the key to his work is always to gain the acceptance of his subjects:
“It means that I need to be as open as I can be. I can't hide behind the camera or be arrogant. They have to trust me and I have to trust them. Otherwise it would just be a waste of time – and the photos would be lousy.”