Eeva Honkanen (FI)


Finnish artist Eeva Honkanen creates large-scale, monochrome, ink drawings. They represent fantastic worlds in a humorous play of imagination that combines the grotesque and wonderful with an impressive richness of detail.

Honkanen’s art can be encapsulated in the quote “if it doesn’t make sense then it’s true”, which she uses to describe her artworks. In fact, she depicts imaginary worlds filled with humans, animals and machines that she transforms into absurd, fun and grotesque figures. The exaggeration of the subjects and the combination of unrelated biomorphic elements highlight the grotesque appearance of her painting– a key feature in Honkanen’s art. A gloomy atmosphere rules Honkanen’s isolated and mysterious environments. This is heightened by the black-and-white palette and by the use of strong contrast of light and shade.

Eeva Honkanen

Each composition emerges through free association, an approach that is visible in the resulting shape-shifting nature of the intricate subjects she represents with a richness of details. Allowing her thoughts to flow freely, her layered drawings aim to depict the more complex and contradictory aspects of existence. The audience is invited to follow her lead in letting their imagination run free and dive into a world of fantasy.

The surreal conglomerate of subjects can recall Dante’s Hell and hint to Hieronymus Bosch’s artworks. In fact, her religious upbringing strongly influences her artworks that explore guilt and innocence depicting moral and religious stories. Playing with scales and placing great attention to the physicality of her subjects, she often draws grotesque and grim images in which single characters seem to get swallowed up by a higher entity. The patterned repetitions of figures and their accurate detailing convey an idea of infinite time and space.

Combining fantasy and reality, Honkanen’s worlds may appeal to the viewers to free their imagination or to discover the underlying storylines hidden within her seemingly chaotic compositions.

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