Esko Tirronen


Silk screen printing • 100 x 80 cm




Before long, ‟Esko’s work” became a concept, which described Esko Tirronen’s (1934-2011) photorealistic paintings of the female form and its various parts. Thighs are a constantly repeated theme in his works as some kind of fetishist, erotic feeling and hint at other body parts. Clothing also plays its part in the form of miniskirts and shorts. Tirronen’s “male point of view” has met with a lot of dissent and his works are, from the feminist viewpoint, considered questionable, at the very least.

Early works of Tirronen’s from the turn of the 1960s were created when abstract art experienced one of its most notable transitions. The power of the geometric was broken and free-form informality spread throughout art exhibitions “like the common cold”, to quote Maire Gullichsen. Indications of broad brush strokes and paint rollers form thundercloud-like swirls across the canvas. His works also tend to be given names inspired by nature, but most importantly, his work is not merely constructed, rather it should look as if it has been spontaneously created. This is not to say they are carelessly thrown together. Tirronen’s paintings from the early 1960s show signs of being carefully composed and embracing the artist’s most extreme gestures.

Tirronen was in the vanguard of ostracising new realism and pop art in the early 1960s and introducing informalism. His paintings portray young, fashionable people. The importance of photorealism to Tirronen was far from being merely the imitation of the art of photography. In his works the silky shine of spray paint surfaces and the clearly emphasised outlines also give “Fragment” its sculptural appearance, despite estranged subject matter. The concept of a torso leads us to broken statues from antiquity and Tirronen’s “Torso” is often pictured. Fragment is a broken-off piece from a torso.

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