KIRSI SALO (Translated from Italian)
Faint distant reminiscences, vestiges of a lost time that emerge from the depths of memories. Fragments of a past that, like blinding lightning bolts, illuminate the dark abyss of oblivion in which everything tends to disappear. Memories on memories, a fragile cathedral of past events in which the mnemonic function is the founding and constitutive stone. Musical notes and timbres of distant voices, smoky images that flash for an instant in the mind. Kirsi Salo uses the canvas to impress on it what is sedimented inside her soul but that, in one way or another, in a distant or near time could disappear.
It is an alchemic painting in which two forces are at play to create the final product. Memories and pigments are united, mixed on the canvas like reagents in a chemical reaction. They collide, mix together, blend. Some element sublimates, some other reacts with more force than desired and yet, incessantly, reactions of synthesis and decomposition forge, cause and annihilate each other layer upon layer of color, memory upon memory. Inert ingredients are not admissible in this alchemical recipe, pigment is not medium and memory is not the motive. The two reagents are protagonists and promoters of the creative process at the same time, one inspire the other and vice versa in a stratification of elements that gives life to the painting.
A stratification that we see only in part, a cathedral of memories of which we only glimpse high spires but which has within itself - and Kirsi knows it - infinite nuances on infinite layers of accumulation. Wide energetic and instinctive brushstrokes stand out on the canvas at first. Mood and gestures are the forces at play that intertwine and get to know each other in this first embryonic phase. A primordial soup within which, subsequently, the first forms of life take shape, the first biological units mirroring reminiscent memories. It is the beginning of the partnership between artist and canvas in which the latter lets itself go, unravels its mysteries, tells Kirsi about its nature and prepares itself for the new pigment that is about to be thrown on it.
Flat backgrounds of acrylic color, intense ink stains and outlines, uncertain and delicate pastel interventions and the irreverent and ponderous use of spray paint combine to create a work of art that has its true strength in contrast. A contrast that can certainly be found in the rendering of every medium used by the artist and that reverberates the behavior and the peculiarity of memory: a state of imperfect and fragile balance between opposite feelings and sensations, a characteristic and entirely subjective bittersweet that oscillates with a wave-like motion in the artist's soul.
This is alchemy, not chemistry. There are too many undefined elements, the swinging feelings, the faded and feeble memories that cooperate in the creation of the work of art. Kirsi's work is personal in the highest terms, it is mental and cannot be theorized, it is a river of memories thrown onto the canvas. It does not need fixed formulas, catalogued and experimented reactions. It is an alchemy of painting and memories.
Lisa Galleti, January 2021