© Kuvasto 2016. Photo: © Bank of Finland
Black swans glide across Paul Gustafsson’s (b. 1979) wood engraving as ceremoniously as they do in the symbolic art of a hundred years back. However, the dark birds do not try to intrude on the world of mystery, even though this certainly reflects the multifaceted relationship between people and animals.
Serious-seeming animals are part of the artist’s standard fare. The critic Otso Kantokorpi has called them ‟perfectly personal individuals” and suggests they portray a hint of ‟the self-portrait”. Although the birds and other animals in Gustafsson’s works do not follow absolutely realistic lines, their portrayal definitely hit the spot. Gustafsson is an extremely skilful user of colour. He belongs to the Galleria Art Kaarisilta group of artists and has exhibited both his woodcuts and his ceramics.