Saska Ylätalo (b. 1990) is an oil painter with a penchant for camouflage – for combinations of patterns and coloration that disguise and conceal. He uses camouflage as an optical device: the three-dimensional illusions in his paintings seem to collapse upon themselves, blending with the background. The camouflage theme also extends to a metaphorical, emotional level, symbolizing an attempt to blend in with the surroundings and adapt to the prevailing conditions – or the failure to do so, as the case may be.
In addition to unraveling the symbolic connotations of camouflage, Ylätalo also reflects on the recent history of painting: on modernism and its demand for flatness, the illusion of depth, and the deliberate avoidance of representation. In some of his paintings he uses a grid to heighten the depth-subverting effect, but in a consciously clumsy way, as if in parody.
Saska Ylätalo has studied painting at the Helsinki Academy of Fine Arts and sculpture at Tsukuba University in Japan. He has held solo exhibitions in Finland and Japan and group exhibitions in Finland and Sweden.