Collezione Maramotti presents fifty photographs by Esko Männikkö (b.1959, Pudasjärvi), chosen to emphasize the similarities and consonance of his research with the Collection.
Some of the works were exhibited in 2014 in the retrospective Time Flies at the Kunsthalle Helsinki, with which the Collection has cooperated for this exhibition project.
Time as presence/absence, crystallized in its images, is central to Männikkö’s poetics, as well as his masterly use of light and the extreme attention to composition, bestowing a sort of metaphysical suspension to his work.
These substantial and formal elements have made several critics compare his work to Renaissance portraiture and the tonal, compositional and luministic qualities of Vermeer’s paintings.
The frames, found in local markets or made with reused wood, specifically for the exhibition, are an essential visual part of the work and not an ancillary component, as they link his work to painting tradition.
The favourite subjects of his photographs are objects, places, people and life styles, which are familiar to the artist, while at the same time reflecting humankind’s universal traits.
His approach is full of deep respect and sensitivity, never focusing on documentation, but rather on the search for empathy, a real contact exalting the beauty of everyday
ordinary aspects. Even the humblest and weakest subjects are never victims, but are depicted in their full dignity.
The compositional rhythm of the artist’s exhibitions is quite peculiar: although each picture is self-contained, they are often part of a series, which in their turn open a dialogue with other and constantly evolving series.