The viewer sees a dainty but a peculiar world. Cute, but somehow strange as well. Undeniably beautiful, yes, but quirky, and, somehow, almost - dark. There's sex, but then there are flashes of war. There's the light of hope, but there's also despair. There's tenderness and naivete, but married to greed and shame. There's glitter - and then gasoline. A bitter and sweet yin-yang kaleidoscope into life, alchemising the ugly into beautiful.
Saara Vaniala is a philosopher, a mystic, and an artist: a writer, a musician, a visual artist. Her work is a balancing act of soft and strong, of high-end and street style - of the tragedy of humanity-in-progress and of its virtue, love. Mysticism, spiritualism, religious references, and social commentary coyly entwine in the artist's dream-like images. Her style is unique: a characteristic ink line that cradles ingenious and imaginative colour palettes, which often arrange into female figures.
The artist begins by first working with ink on paper, then moving onto digital coloring and shading. Her pieces thus have three different forms, each an art piece in their own right. First the intricate and sensitive ink on paper; then the attention-demanding, colourful digital on digital. Finally, the deep and velvety look of matte giclée on paper, the stylish yet wearable silk, or the industrial-looking and very present-day choice of latex ink on PVC vinyl.
"The pictures may look Barbie-esque, but the surface level is there to make these images readable and relatable. Like Drake raps about complex, contemporary sentiments in simple and universally understood American slang, I try and do the same by creating pictures with pop culture's rules, so that any member of the global society can intuitively comprehend her pieces' transcendent, multi-layered meanings."
BECOMING SAARA VANIALA
"Our struggles help us find out who we really are.
Things haven't always been easy - they still aren't easy. But your attitude and your hope will carry you when your faith is crumbling. I have had a lot of painful events happen in my life, things not everyone will ever, not ever, witness. Humans carry a lot of trauma and unhealthy thought patterns. But we have to choose what we deep down feel and know is a better way. I choose transformation, love as the ultimate medicine, truth as freedom, and progress as our direction.
My work has been called healing, and indeed healing is an important task for an artist. When words can't express, when a face can't communicate, when the mind can't make sense of it, or when the soul can't share, I transmute abstract feelings into images. What you are, when the image begins for you, and what you have become, when you finish encountering the image, are - hopefully - two different beings.
Emotion has meaning. We are our emotional and psychological experience, not only the mind, or the impersonal consciousness. We breathe life into our bodies, but if we are not careful, we breathe life into our illnesses too. We make this world either a heaven or a hell. Body, soul, feeling, intuition, intellect. Learn, discern, let go, connect. Heal."
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