Jaakko Pallasvuo at American Medium


Artist: Jaakko Pallasvuo

Exhibition title: Pumpkin Spice

Venue: American Medium, New York, US

Date: October 23 – November 29, 2015

Photography: images copyright and courtesy of the artist and American Medium, New York

American Medium is proud to present the first New York solo exhibition by Jaakko Pallasvuo. In addition, we celebrate the launch of Pure Shores, the artist’s recent comic book, published by Landfill Editions.

“Nobody wanted your dance,
Nobody wanted your strange glitter, your floundering
Drowning life and your effort to save yourself,
Treading water, dancing the dark turmoil,
Looking for something to give.”

― Ted Hughes, Birthday Letters

JAAKKO is sitting in the new university cafe in Helsinki, typing on his laptop. He has added typewriter sound effects to his text processing software. The coffee is pretty bad, and he didn’t get the student discount.

Jaakko is having his “debut NYC solo show” in October. He is not worried about the show. He is experienced in failing upwards. Will it stop working some day? Who cares? Art is whatever you can get away with, he types, and realizes he doesn’t believe it to be so. When Jaakko was fourteen years old he managed to convince himself that he was a genius. He has never quite gotten over that.

Jaakko is worried about flying, and worried about being among people there. Will they be mean? He feels slow and vague and NYC seems so vertical and sharp-edged.

Jaakko wants to be Picasso, while rejecting a culture that produces Picassos. Jaakko wants to be brilliant, to tower over others artistically / Jaakko wants to join a commune and dedicate his life to humble, anonymous service.

In a chat window a collector warns Jaakko about the dangers of not producing enough standardized garbage for art fairs. In another tab Jaakko is watching a video of refugees in a concentration camp like center in Hungary struggling to get their share from a bag of food thrown into the crowd.

The world has gone mad. Jaakko looks around at the birch-colored tastefully decorated sparse nordic cafe bathing in autumn light. So this is the fall of Rome, he thinks, and struggles to match the thought with his perception.

In the US, political insanity matches delirious architecture. Income inequality and race segregation are materialized in buildings and objects. Jaakko sees images of white children holding AK-47s, smiling. Jaakko doesn’t know where to go from there.

Jaakko realizes that he is dealing with something fragile. He is tripping over his own ignorance. He decides not to write another word.

Sometimes the outcome of self-indulgent circular thinking is twee. Jaakko is twee because he is stuck in this text. Picasso was not twee because he had monstrous and unwavering belief in his cause, himself. This gave him forward momentum. Twee is an artist apologising for existing in the first place. Come and celebrate with us.




Jaakko Pallasvuo, Fashion Week, 2015


Jaakko Pallasvuo, Against Nature, 2015


Jaakko Pallasvuo, Organic Crescent, 2015


Jaakko Pallasvuo, Cacti, 2015


Jaakko Pallasvuo, Double Indemnity, 2015







Jaakko Pallasvuo, The Shepherd, 2015


Jaakko Pallasvuo, Faggle Rock, 2015


Jaakko Pallasvuo, Dresden, 2015


Jaakko Pallasvuo, Dresden, 2015


Jaakko Pallasvuo, Dresden, 2015 (detail)



Jaakko Pallasvuo, Vase 1, 2015


Jaakko Pallasvuo, L to R: Snail Shell, Tintin, Chad, Buddha, 2015



Jaakko Pallasvuo, Vase 2, 2015


Jaakko Pallasvuo, Picasso, 2015