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Author Topic: Nalle Virolainen - finnish outsider artists  (Read 974 times)
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FreakAnimalFinland
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« on: August 24, 2019, 08:19:20 AM »

Nalle Virolainen is most likely familiar of Finnish underground people. Abroad, he is very very unlikely to be widely known. It is also possible that now 60+ aged artists is not as "hip" as he used to be. As far as I know, he remains somewhat active, but not in the spotlight like in 80's and 90's. In turn of those decades, he was one of the total avantgarde figures, who introduces lots of counterculture to Finnish audience.
He co-authored first Finnish book (and series of magazine articles, radio broadcasts, etc) about Splatter / gore / trash / camp films.  Founder of Lykantropia magazine/organization. He was one of the founders of Finnish Anarchist union. He was the most visible figures of modern primitives in Finland. Piercings, primitive tattoos, sadomasochism. He was maker of first s/m fanzine Chains (which included works of his, but also Läjä Äijälä of Terveet Kädet etc), and later that transformed into infamous Kinky Club, which was s/m - fetish party organization.

In times when all this type of stuff is pretty much mainstream, his groundbreaking work may be ignored. Also it is possible that his current, overtly naive political comics may put in shadow his more interesting works. Anarchist politics, feeling of being outsider weirdo, appreciation of ugly and grotesque in opposition to expectations of society, all those themes are of course consistent in his work since beginning, yet there appears to be less of moral free sexual perversions, surreal oddities, frenzy of wild splatter scenarios, scatological extremes, etc.

His comics, could be compared to Mike Diana. Simple black & white pen works. Short and often obscene scenarios. But mixed with teddybears (his artists name = Nalle). His paintings vary from neo primitivists squiggles, that look almost like RRRecords catalogue backgrounds. Lines, dots, forms, that seemingly make no sense. Then other approaches besides the abstract, are grotesque acrylic paintings focusing on bizarre sexual scenarios. Rubber, s/m, etc. Often vivid colors and semi-comical approach, yet much much more detailed than his black&white comics are.

Back in the day, he was often on TV. Always on the magazines and newspapers. IF lack of his presence and attention would be caused by new generations of subversive artists replacing him in spotlight, it would be OK. Fact is there is exactly zero artists who could be said to be nowhere near. It is too bad his presence online is so minimal. I believe there has never been website. I don't think there is much of his works published in English.

Some easy purchases would be Sanattomia Kuvia series (part 2 & 3 available). 100 pages books, that have always 70 pages of grotesque drawings and 30 pages of text in Finnish. Due amount of graphic work, it is not huge loss to not understand the short stories, but one can focus on visuals. Not comics, but just single page obscure drawings. This part probably shameless self promotion, since those books can be bought from my webstore, hah, but as said, his work is no longer so easy to find so can't really recommend anything else.

If you ask any Finnish noise persons from "older generation", I am sure everybody will express nothing but adoration for this person. I have had pleasure to not only publish couple of his works (first ones already back in 1993!), but also decade ago I was invited to host panel in Comic Festival about porn-comics. Thing what would be very very unlikely these days. There was Nalle and Tendril (fetish artists published back in the day by Marquis and <<0>> and such) and Reetta Laitinen. Too bad no documentation exists, and too bad I didn't prepare enough to allow the guests to fully present themselves to packed hall of curious comic fans, heh..
Another example could be Bizarre Uproar "Lily the flesh", which is sort of tribute to video, that has also Nalle featured in it. Odd underground production of public humiliation, scatology, home made sleaze etc.  

Finnish language 10 minute short film (from 1993) can be found at:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q6IESa-OWaw

You can see a little of his work there, but far from being truly representative. I think majority of works are not so youtube friendly.
For visuals... as said, too bad his works simply doesn't seem to exists in world wide web. Google picture search brings only handful, and nowhere near his best. It is hard to say if his work would be enough *wanted* outside Finland.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2019, 11:51:02 AM by FreakAnimalFinland » Logged

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Vermin Marvin
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« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2019, 09:40:57 AM »

http://oranssi.net/pienlehdet/sphider/search.php?query=nalle+virolainen&search=1

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FreakAnimalFinland
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« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2019, 02:26:58 PM »

Excellent link. Although still must say that his works from early 80's doesn't give the full view of how this very personal and odd style of drawing developed during years.
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