Born in Helsinki in 1978, Mikael Siirilä approaches photography as a slow-paced and reflective practice. He collects observations from his life and works in the darkroom to give them meaning.
Mikael Siirilä’s reductionist images build on details and fragments. His subjects appear lost in thought and disconnected from time and identifiable places. His visual style can be recognised by the pronounced film grain, dominating black elements and image edges as a source of mystery and meaning. The majority of his works observe themes such as outsiderhood, absence and presence.
Mikael Siirilä works exclusively with black & white film and the silver gelatin process. The darkroom allows him to approach the photograph as a handmade object.
Small variations in print editions reveal the artist’s touch, a rarity in the age of digital imaging.
Also notably Mikael Siirilä prefers to create photographs in relatively small size. For him, a photograph’s true nature builds on the ‘1-hour photos’ of his youth. Smaller size invites the viewer near. Studying the image becomes intimate, like reading a piece of poetry.
Mikael Siirilä belongs to the new wave of artists that have embraced social media as a serious and legitimate platform for presenting work. His social following is global, and interest in his photography has increased rapidly in the past years.
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