Visual artist Joel Slotte is the Young Artist of the Year 2021. Slotte is awarded a substantial grant and an opportunity for a private exhibition at the Tampere Art Museum and the Tikanoja Art Museum, which is part of the Vaasa City Museums. He is the 37th recipient of the Young Artist of the Year award. With Joel Slotte’s exhibition, the Tampere Art Museum and the Vaasa City Museums will start collaborating on the Young Artist of the Year event. The Young Artists of the Year is nationally significant award given annually to artists of under 35 years of age.
Joel Slotte is also a local artist, born in 1987 in Kokkola. Today he is a painter who lives and works in Helsinki and also does sculptures. He has studied at the Nordic Art School in 2007– 2009 and graduated as a Master of Fine Arts from the Academy of Fine Arts in Helsinki in 2016. Slotte paints technically masterful figurative oil paintings about everyday situations that are partly absurd and fictional. The model of the works has often been the artist himself or his friends.
My paintings stem from everyday anecdotes, experiences and observations shared with friends – things that are generally important to me in some way. I paint portraits of my friends, my loved ones and myself. I add fictional characteristics to real people and depict them as alternative versions of themselves. These alter egos are a way of facing the surrounding reality and its phenomena; sudden horror that is mixed with seemingly calm everyday life, various states between emotions as well as love and raw joy.
My painting is dense, drawing-like, sharp and very time-consuming. I want to spend even wasteful amounts of time on my paintings, as slow and long-term work also gives the paintings temporal crystallizations and layers. They also form a historical and mythological sediment for the situations and action in the paintings.
The annual choice for the Young Artist of the Year 2021 is made by a committee of experts, always chaired by the director of Tampere Art Museum, currently Taina Myllyharju, who also has the final say on the decision.
The collaborative exhibition displayed in Tikanoja Art Museum is produced by Tampere Art Museum.