"There are many shades of brown and blue."
When surface becomes space
Miika Nyyssönen’s art has often been inspired by earlier art. For the EMMA exhibition, he has created a work, Breda 100 (310 cm × 370 cm), which is made up of 100 equally-sized parts. The work is based on The Surrender of Breda (1634–35), an oil painting by Diego Velázquez found in the collections of the Museum del Prado in Madrid. The work is also known as Las Lanzas (The Lances). The exhibition also features watercolour paintings based on the same theme.
Miika Nyyssönen’s art is characteristically of large proportions, and in his works there is a strong architectural touch. The theme of the exhibition, Another Space, is a dialogue through the medium of art with an artist who lived a long time ago. In the Breda 1-100 series there is already a concept of space: there is a foreground, a middle ground and a background. At the same time, there is a historical happening which also portrays the theme of the exhibition. When the work is hung up in the exhibition space, then the properties inherent in a painting and its space inside it becomes part of another space and the dialogue with the surrounding works begins.
“Why did Velázquez’s painting in particular interest you?”
“It was the sum of a number of coincidences. I was looking for a subject for the follow-up to my 2005 work. In that work, I had used bright colours and computer programming. Now ... I wanted to try a more limited colour scheme to produce the atmosphere that I had in mind.
By coincidence, I had that year read a book on the baroque, and there was a picture of Velázquez’s work…” What interested him most was the vigour of the drawing and the space in the work.
Nyyssönen had long been painting with acrylics so, as he familiarised himself with the subject, he started re-learning the technique of painting with oils. As his knowledge of seventeenth century painting technique increased, so did his knowledge of Velázquez’s way of painting. In the original work, a colour scheme emphasising browns and blues was used. Even though Nyyssönen’s versions do not slavishly follow Velàzquez’s work, he has nevertheless tried to remain faithful to the original.
Miika Nyyssönen (b.1965 in Mikkeli) graduated from the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts in 1993. He has participated in many joint exhibitions in Finland and abroad, as well as having many solo exhibitions. In addition to painting, Miika Nyyssönen has also created installations, video and audio works, as well as sculptures. Miika Nyyssönen has created many public works in the greater Helsinki area and he is one of the contributing artists for the West Metro project.