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Anna Kaarina Nenonen

(b. 1961)
Born: Kuopio, Finland

My inspiration largely comes from daily life: people, nature, and contemporary culture. Art makes the mundane extraordinary. I believe in the transformative power of art.

Depending which series I am currently working on, my references can also be traced to art history and our intellectual heritage from Roman antiquity to Italian Baroque to Vanitas symbolism in Dutch still lives. Sometimes I am influenced by a handful of 20th-century artists, such as Gerhard Richter, Lucian Freud, Man Ray, or the doll pictures of Hans Bellmer: work that ranges from the sublime to the truly bizarre.

A few years ago I had a nearly fatal riding accident. I had to learn to live again. The aftermath of the experience fuels the omnipresent existentialism in my work. I am concerned with death, memory and memorabilia, fragility of the human body and vulnerability of living beings found in nature, and how man-made objects from sculptures to toys will be broken and forgotten, reminding us that we are here for only a very short time. Juxtapositions such as day and night, good and evil, procreation and death, plastic or flesh, are often part of the investigation.


1999 M.F.A., College of Imaging Arts and Sciences, Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester NY, USA: fine art photography, painting, video

1992 International Academy of Arts, Salzburg, Austria, Summer School: painting with Leon Golub and Nancy Spero

1990 M.A., Åbo Akademi University, Turku, Finland: Art History and Art Theory, Museum Studies

1989 University of London Summer School, Cambridge, England: Conservation and restoration of prints and drawings

1988 B.A., The Royal Academy of Arts, Copenhagen, Denmark: Conservation and restoration of fine art (paintings, mixed media)

1985 B.A., Åbo Akademi University, Turku, Finland