NOBA Nordic Baltic contemporary art platform

René Kari

René Kari (born 1950) is a an artist and a work of art in one, who can be best introduced with his own words (excerpt from a text accompanying his exhibition “Miami Beach” (Gallery Viviann Napp, 2004): “One night, about 30 years ago I made the decision to become an artist. To make sure I would go through with it, I made a bet with my friend. It took three years to win the bet. At around the same time I made another decision that also found assertion in a bet: that by the age of 57 I will have shaped my body to look like an antique sculpture…my body will have sculpted into a piece of art, resembling antique ideals of beauty.”.

Kari is active as a freelance artist since 1978. He is a member of the Estonian Artists’ Union since 1986. His art has been found to fall into the category of abstract surrealism, dominated by erotical subcurrents since 1990s.

Art critic and curator Harry Liivrand  has commented on Kari´s works as follows: “He found his subject and style over a quarter century ago and since then the iconography of his works has not changed much but rather has achieved an even clearer form; hermetic like a thermos and hedonistic like a man who knows the value of beauty and youth. Almost like Narcissus. Kari’s paintings could conditionally be called erotic landscapes, within which the perception of colour plays a great role and carries the feeling that has been painted into the work.“*

Sources used: Haus gallery; press release of René Kari’s exhibition “Miami Beach” (2004)*


Photo series: The Body as a Work of Art (A Story of Development Through the Decades) /  
42 x 24 cm