Portrait of President unveiled in govt Palace

04 May 2018, 17:47

  DF Report

Press Release Photo by President office.

The portrait of President Sauli Niinistö was unveiled at the Presidential Room of the Government Palace on Friday, said an official press release.

The portrait is a mosaic composed of one hundred partial works by one hundred younger-generation artists — graphic artists, sculptors, painters, video artists, performance artists and photographers — who are or have been active in Finland.

Niinistö, Prime Minister Juha Sipilä and Government ministers as well as artists who contributed to the portrait and other invited guests participated on the occasion of unveiling of the portrait.

The portrait was ordered by the Government and will be located in the Presidential Room of the Government Palace. The walls of the Presidential Room and its waiting room have portraits of the previous presidents as well.

The mode of implementation and producers of the portrait were chosen by President Niinistö. Implemented as community artwork, the portrait was produced by artists Atro Linnavirta and Anita Naukkarinen.

The idea for this mode of implementing the portrait dates back to 2012 when, as the newly elected President Niinistö was given a community art portrait as a visual congratulatory greeting. At that time the artwork, directed by a working group of students from the Lahti Institute of Art, took a stand in support of art schools under threat of closure.

Inspired by the artwork of 2012, and in the spirit of the Together theme of Finland’s centenary year celebrations, the President invited one hundred artists to contribute to his portrait.

First he was photographed for the portrait. The photograph was then divided into one hundred parts that were distributed to the invited artists by drawing lots. These served as the starting point for the artists.

The artists were given artistic freedom to interpret their own part of the artwork, and they worked independently without knowledge of each other. The completed parts were assembled to form the artwork. The mosaic presents the spectrum of modern art — the artists represent a vast range within the field of art.

People will have the opportunity to view the portrait when it is on display at the Ateneum Art Museum in June 2018.