Kari Soinio at Station Independent Projects
Image above: ©Kari Soinio, Still a Hero # 6, 2016, Edition 5 + 5 + 2ap, Digital C-print / Courtesy of Station Independent Projects
Image above: ©Monika Piatkiewicz, Opening night, Middle: Artist
What is the difference between self portraiture and photographing oneself? The artist as a model or an image of the artist?
In photographing nudes, portraying the male body at times masculine and at times with more feminine traits, Kari Soinio plays with gender roles, often showing femininity in masculinity. In his long term artistic practise Soinio has addressed masculine myths through the guise or the trope of the hero. This character has served as a proxy to show the man in the wilderness or in the safety of home, being himself or trying to be something (s)he doesn't quite know. The naked hero can be, at times, seen as a caricature of self-sufficient male identity. In Soinio's series it's imperative and critical to strip the hero out of his clothing to show his vulnerability, bluster and comical nature.
Image above: ©Kari Soinio, Still a Hero # 5, 2016, Edition 5 + 5 + 2ap, Digital C-print / Courtesy of Station Independent Projects
Using himself as a model, Soinio positions himself somewhere between self-portrait and storytelling, into a sphere where he can direct actions and play roles and characters. It's central to the ideas in Soinio's work to exist in his images as a character and to a lesser extent as himself.
Image above: ©Kari SoinioStill a Hero # 11, 2016, Edition 5 + 5 + 2ap, Archival inkjet print / Courtesy of Station Independent Projects
In this show Soinio has included self-portraiture and documentary by incorporating close-ups of his face, hair and eyes. By creating a fragmentary self-portrait and by adding poses printed in natural and essential colors Soinio challenges differences between these image types and between his own positions within the gender spectrum of male and female.
Image above : ©Kari Soinio, Still a Hero # 6, 2016, Edition 5 + 5 + 2ap, Digital C-print / Courtesy of Station Independent Projects
Kari Soinio, Biography
Kari Soinio is a Finnish artist from Helsinki. He lives and works in the Bronx, New York. He primarily works with photography and he is known for his auto-portraiture work and experimental approach to landscape.
Soinio's work concentrates on two main themes: sense and representation of landscape and place on one hand and corporeality, sexuality and male identity on the other. He has experimented extensively with problematics of perception and representation in out of focus images, both in his landscape work and in auto-portraiture-based work on male body.
Image above: ©Kari Soinio, Still a Hero # 1, 2016, Edition 5 + 5 + 2ap, Digital C-print / Courtesy of Station Independent Projects
He has studied photography and received his undergraduate degree from Lahti Polytechnic (1989) and his graduate degree from the University of Art and Design in Helsinki (1998). He has also studied at the International Center of Photography in New York.
His one person shows have been seen at Station Independent Projects in New York, Finlandia University Gallery in Hancock, MI, Storefront Bushwick in New York, Heino Gallery and Korjaamo Gallery in Helsinki, Northern Photography Center in Oulu, Finland, Intitut Finlandais in Paris, France, Kerava Art Museum in Finland and Ingrid Hansen Gallery in Washington DC among others. He has participated in many group shows, for instance in such institutions as TEA in Tenerife, Spain, Station Independent Projects, PointB Virtual Exhibition, The Design Museum and Lokal, both in Helsinki, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Kiasma and The Finnish Museum of Photography in Helsinki, Kerava Art Museum, Peer Gallery, New York City and Aaltonen Art Museum, Turku.
Image above: ©Kari Soinio, Still a Hero # 17, 2016, Edition 5 + 5 + 2ap, Archival inkjet print / Courtesy of Station Independent Projects
His work has been featured in The New York Times Style Magazine, Crave, Brooklyn Rail, Baxter St, Helsingin sanomat, NY Arts Magazine, Actuphoto, Connaissance des Arts, Art Actuel, Next Level and others.
Soinio's works are in several public collections including Kiasma, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki; The Finnish Museum of Photography, Helsinki; HAM, the Helsinki Art Museum, and in numerous private collections both in Finland and abroad.