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Igasugune tagasiside on teretulnud. KONTAKT: augustkunnapu@gmail.com

Eestikeelsed artiklid



Milind Ranadive

Vilen Künnapu

August Künnapu, Vilen Künnapu


Kaido Ole


Mehis Heinsaar

Mart Aas


What kind of art matters to me

The shortest and simplest answer would be, good contemporary art.

Before I go on elaborating on the good, I'd like to define the contemporary.

Since I struggle with my problems here and now, in the form they have acquired by now, and since that struggle is not an easy one, I seek help and guidance wherever I can. In art among other things. Although, the majority of issues can be reduced to their basic archetypal roots, and justifiably claim that they have existed in this world for aeons and people have offered a volume of solutions to them over time, which are universal despite their contemporary characteristics.

In other words – when looking beyond the specific appearances and style frameworks, one could find a more suitable "confidant" in baroque or early gothic eras, not necessarily only in modern art. But I seem not to find one. At least for me, the form of art, that is its looks, is as meaningful as the "real" content, and the story of a baroque fellow does not help me onward at all.

Angela de la Cruz. Loose Fit III (Large/Orange).
Oil on canvas, 135 x 135 cm, 2000.

When I look at the art of past centuries, which is rarely, I do it more for the sake of stepping aside and reflecting on the current situation where I live, not because it seems somehow more appropriate or better.

Please, do not conclude that I am somehow against old art – not at all. Even if I often am ironic, when people humbly talk about learning from the old masters, for the risk of losing something valuable in it is as great as the opportunity for possible gain. One should surely know, what and when to garner, so that the deal would be a positive one. And the person needs some backbone. In the beginning, it would be useful to stay on today's wavelength, although in practice the opposite principle is favoured. It seems to me that there is too much escapism mentality, even if it is unconscious, simply because at some point the modern day turns into a disappointment for many, and it is better to think oneself out of it. Both among the artists and the audience. But it is not merely the problem of culture, it reveals all attitudes more clearly.

The notion of good is even more complex, although personally I have a pretty clear picture. In any case, I do not agree with a widespread concept, that everyone's impression is naturally right and therefore bad art does not exist, there are simply different opinions.

As a rule, I tend to trust the experts, and in art, it is the ones, who are involved from dusk till dawn. These people have already passed through the initial stages and the most typical "A-ha!" inspirations, the list of which and even the order of appearance are likely to be the same in the beginning. But when someone works at it ardently, the experience gathers and lame tricks are no longer catchy. And if something catches the attention of these long-winding farts, it must have some deeper significance and range that does not run out of fuel the next moment, even if it often looks simplistic and amateur-like. On the other hand, that which the amateurs or dilettantes love, is exhausted as soon as experience grows. And the strange or even seemingly faulty attitudes of the more seasoned colleagues start to make sense little by little.

I dare say that the old art forms are even more comprehensible without prior preparation, because the starting kit of the most uncomplicated contact has been ingrained in us since birth as part of the collective memory. Modern art, although discoursing about ourselves, is still an organism being born here and now, contemplating its own developments. Therefore the effort and strain is greater for the viewer, but also for the author. Right and wrong, good and bad is still revealing its face, and it is a situation, where many run the risk of remaining ignorant.

Katharina Grosse. Untitled. Acrylic, wall,
pavement, earth, canvas, 2006.

Naturally, I have my own taste and preferences, and far from objectivity I am endowed with most human weaknesses like superficiality, comfort, and oblivion about so many important questions. Neither do I care to watch long videos to the end, where "nothing happens", nor read lengthy wall texts or get involved in the social revolution of every human group in all their plentiful nuances. As a rule though, I enjoy seeing that such matter-of-fact and somewhat uncomfortable art is created, and if nothing else, I simply and strangely enough admire the aesthetics of these expositions.

Just like I said before, the looks are very important for me, and every message has it own beauty. And in a good work of art, their compatibility is close to an ideal, so it is not that absurd to be staring at the appearance of a text project as it may seem initially.


Observation gives me the opportunity to enjoy the kind of art that I myself would never create because of my nature. But a good piece of art by others earns my applause even if it has nothing to do with me.

It is a rule of thumb for me, that I go and see even mediocre exhibitions if they are in the direction of my preferences, but the further the focus moves from me, the less and better I care to receive. I am sure I could find something to savour in every field and school, if only I had the energy and time to get into it.

In general, I try not to mention any names, for I have a few concrete favourites, I have not seen many good things, or have not delved deeper, and in the end, every list seems somehow absolute – someone is in, someone out – and it takes on greater proportions than the whole thing is worth. I will make an attempt below though, touching upon paintings, to narrow down the scope.

There is an earlier art movement, which even arouses a sense of envy in me, that I was not the one creating it – namely OP art. In my opinion and despite its 60s background, OP art is ageless, universal, and honest completion of art as the object of observation. It is observable to the max and at the same time revealing the process of observation. A perfect solution to painting, that people have been and will be going to "look" at in the future.

Then there is a contemporary guy, a German painter Neo Rauch, whom I like more than usual, because he managed to offer his own unique perspective in the most competitive and played-out section in the art of painting that no-one can mistake for someone else's. His works contain many values of painting in traditional form, which is quite rare these days, his paintings are held together by fabulous storylines, and in spite of his many years of activity, he has not flunked out yet.

It is always fascinating when the concept of painting has been intelligently decomposed and then put together again "wrong", so that an unexpected angle of art phenomena rises to the surface.

Victor Vasarely. Ondho-Neg.
Oil, canvas. 162 x 130 cm, 1960-61.

Victor Vasarely. Vega 200. Oil, canvas,
200 x 200 cm, 1968.



Neo Rauch. Alter. Oil, canvas, 250 x 210 cm, 2001.

And last but not least, an example from Tallinn and not from painting. I enviously watched Flo Kasearu's latest video of a white horse galloping along the cityscape, where the meeting of many opposing facets of modern culture and human nature touched my soul deeply. And I still say, that one such video helps me along more than a whole hall full of old masters, sorry.

Flo Kasearu. "Runaway" video still, 2010.

Kaido Ole
loves to make art, see art and talk about art.