“Inspiration starts with a kind of suffering.” | Artist Kaarina Kaikkonen
”Inspiration, for me, starts with a kind of suffering. It comes from a problem that is unsolved.” Finnish artist Kaarina Kaikkonen’s father’s sudden death when she was a child was a pivotal moment in her life and art. Follow her in her endless search for men’s shirts resembling what her father wore that she uses in her iconic, grand installations: “I want to use materials that have had a previous life. Then I change it and give it a new life, a new form of art. To make beauty from ugly.”
“I like the suffering of life to become part of my art,” she says. “Inspiration is a question. And then you’ll have to try to find the answer.”
‘Get Inspired’ is a series of videos that draws close attention to the inspiration process that every artist must go through to create a work of art.”
Kaarina Kaikkonen (b. 1952) is a Finnish artist who works with sculpture and installations. Her works are often made up of recycled materials such as used shirts, skis, or dance shoes, which she assembles into gigantic installations that cast a spell over viewers with an immediate and overwhelming beauty. Kaikkonen has held solo exhibitions at prominent museums worldwide, such as KUNSTEN Museum of Modern Art in Aalborg, Kiasma in Helsinki, MAXXI Museo Nazionale Delle Arti in Rome, the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, and The Kennedy Center in Washington. Among the awards she has received the Finland Art Reward (2001), The Public Prize, Den Haag Sculptuur (2004), Honorable Mention in Cairo 11th Biennale (2009), and The Golden Chimera, 1. Biennale International d’Arte di Arezzo (2013).
Kaarina Kaikkonen was interviewed by Roxanne Bagheshirin Lærkesen in her studio in Helsinki, Finland, in May 2022.