Reima Nevalainen’s use of collage and décollage is intimately connected to the thematic content of his paintings. What we see on the canvas are vestiges of a complex process of cutting, ripping, and erasing. His technique involves a laborious process of addition, removal, trial, and error. For Nevalainen, painting is a way of scrutinizing physical reality and the way we perceive it – painting is an antidote to the disembodied stream of images that consumes our daily existence.
Humans and nature serve as the subject matter of Reima Nevalainen’s collage paintings – not as conflicting elements, however, for human figures and nature coexist as equals in his compositions. Nevalainen mines his subject matter from personal experience, trusting in the intuitive power of the subconscious. The sense of intimacy is heightened by his multi-layered collage technique, in which he combines paint with materials such as sand and paper, or scrapes away the paint to reveal contrasting surfaces underneath.
"When you’re painting without an external visual reference point, you draw from a pool of impressions of everything you have seen and the things that ring true. The chance of misremembering or distorting is what keeps things interesting. When you’re on the right track, your eyes know it."
Reima Nevalainen (b. 1984) graduated as a painting major from Kankaanpää Art School in 2008. He was chosen as Finland’s Young Artist of the Year in 2016. He has held numerous solo shows in Finland and throughout Europe, the US, and Japan. His work is found in Finland’s leading museums including Helsinki Art Museum HAM and the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma. The artist is based in Porvoo.