“We are living in an age where we have information on our finger tips. We have Google, internet, latest technologies and gadgets and enough information, but are very much lonely inside. For me it is interesting. Our life is getting more and more abstract in this virtual visual world. And the new generation is glued to online. They have no interest in real life around and are very lonely and alienated from nature. We are becoming digital slaves,” says Soile Yli-Mayry, internationally acclaimed Finnish artist, whose latest creations titled “Asphalt Light” is being showcased at the Stall Gallery.
The three dimensional paintings and sculptures, with their transparent yet opaque impressions, created perfectly with palette knife with oil colours on canvas, were themed upon the people’s alienation from nature and the conflict within oneself according to the artist. The exhibition ‘Asphalt Light’ displays the artist’s latest collection which explores humanity in depth.
Yli-Mayry’s paintings are asymmetrical and her colours vivid, reflecting the elements of the earth and the richness of her themes which she describes as “humanity and people’s alienation from nature in the urban world.” Her bright pigments dispel any darkness, so that Yli-Mayry’s works transmit vitality, energy and a certain joyous optimism that seem to emanate from the artist’s impulsive, intuitive approach to art.
“I believe that art will become even more significant in this digital world where we are ‘closer’ to each other than ever before.” She refers to these issues strongly over and over again in her painting series — Asphalt Dream, Asphalt Light, Asphalt Heart, and Life in the Glass Cabinet.
“In other words, art and culture, understood broadly, can build a bridge between human beings and life in this very fragmented digital world. The feedback from people I met when holding exhibitions in different countries and continents has made me feel that this trend is reality,” she said.
Asphalt paintings revel in expressionism. Her heavy use of palette knife has transformed the canvas into a three-dimensional platform, achieving different effects, from a thin, even coat to thick lines to scraping lines into the painted canvas. The colours in Yli-Mayry’s paintings are fresh, bright and vivid, expressing a kind of peaceful optimism that encourages human beings to dream in this concrete jungle.
Soile Yli-Mayry studied art at the Arts Academy in Germany in 1975 and since has exhibited in 30 countries all over the world including Japan, China, India, United Sates, all over Europe in 300 solo exhibitions, more than most artists manage in a lifetime. This ensures that her art is easily recognisable for her unique style and high quality. Her work hangs in the Lahti Art Museum and the Oulu Art Museum in her native Finland as well as in museums, galleries and corporate collections in Germany, Japan, Brazil, China, and other countries.
Yli-Mayry grew up in a small village in Ostrobothnia where both her parents were deaf and mute. This meant that she lived in a quiet world where she learnt to express herself through visual means. It is no surprise that her art evokes so much emotion and is therefore so popular.
“I am an artist who loves colours and I do not have any favourites among the colours. The tension between colours is the most important thing for me. Colours in my paintings are not symbols of ideological change. I use the same themes and colours time and time again. I interpret same issues in different ways. The forms vary, but the meaning is the same,” Yli-Mayry says.
A follower of fauvist style, the artist has used strong colours, and prominent vibrant hues. “I create my own symphony with colours. Every tone has its meaning inseparable to the entire theme of the painting. It is like music, if I take off one tone, the entire composition loses meaning. The darker tones portray different states of mind and emotions”.
For the artist, ‘every colour has its own personality’. She speaks and fights with her colours while at work in her studio. “Sometimes I tell “Yellow...It’s you ... you don’t go to the canvas...” They are like human beings. I communicate with the colours. Even if I am not communicating with people while on work, I use to fight with colours,” elaborated Yli-Mayry.
“I could say that each work of art is born after a long multi-dimensional process. The elements of this process are, to name the most essential ones, experiences, thinking and intuition. I feel that during this process intuition is very remarkable,” Yli-Mayry says. Stal Gallery is conducting the exhibitions of Yli-Mayry for the second time — the first one was ‘Asphalt Pearl’ in 2014. For its newest exhibition, Stal Gallery features 24 bold, expressive paintings and two sculptures of Soile Yli-Mayry. The exhibition is on till April 3. [email protected]
Exhibition timings:10am to 6pm
Call: +968 2460 0396