Aurora Reinhard | INTERVIEW

Aurora Reinhard (1975) is a visual artist from Helsinki, Finland. She works with video, photography, self-portraits and multidimensional, hyper-realistic objects fetishizing the everyday. She has a strong female aspect in all of her work and she’s using her own body as the material for her photographs. She holds MFA degree from the Academy of Fine Arts, Helsinki (2003) and she has also studied photography at the University of Gothenburg and at the International Center for Photography in New York. Her works have been shown internationally, including exhibitions at German Historical Museum, Berlin, The Shedhalle, Zürich, Fridericianum, Kassel, Ludwig Museum, Cologne and Platform Garanti, Istanbul. Her experimental documentary Boygirl won the International Media Art Award in 2002 given out by ZKM Centre for Art and Media Karlsruhe, Germany

I was lucky enough to have met Aurora personally at her exibition at the Dahlmann Salon during the #Berlinartweek. Some of the most exiting and interesting works were presented there. The uniqness of the artist is to use her body as the working material. To get Aurora even more I asked her some questions.

Was there a special moment when you decided to follow your passion for art?

I’m not sure, but I remember when I was in high school and was cutting a 8-mm short film that I realized I forgot about averything else when doing that. And then later when i saw the hugely moving video works by a finnish artist Teemu Mäki that I realized that I also want to create art that touches the viewer strongly.


Can you tell us about the process of making your work Madonna & Child?

I have done previously a series called Venus. In that series I used the same silicone mask and silicone breasts that I’m using in the Madonna & Child image. Venus is a series of 9 pictures of different kind of stereotypical female characters familiar from porn industry. What’s important for me about the images is that she’s always looking at the viewer and not flirting at all. The mask has holes where the eye’s are, so one sees that there is someone behind the mask, someone real with real emotions.
Somehow after the Venuses it seemed natural to think about motherhood, a different kind female role.
I’ve always liked art history specially renaissance and medeval art and finally I managed to adapt a topic from there to my way of doing pictures.
I was looking online at hundreds of different images relating to the Madonna & child topic and found this really nice image of madonna & child and used it as my starting point for the pose.
Then I start to do test shoots of the pose and to design the clothes for the charakter. I usually have to combine 2 different negatives to get all the elements of the image the way I want.

Where is the most interesting place you have been exhibited?

German Historical Museum DHM, in Berlin. In 2012 I took part in their grand exhibition Desire for Freedom, art in Europa since 1945. I love the old building and location of the Museum, Unter den Linden 2. Also the museum has a wonderful old art/objects collection.

How would you define beauty?

Something visually very catching and arousing. I guess there are different beauties the very traditional one and then there seems to be the intresting beauties.

Do you have a favourite book, film or painting, which inspires you?

I don’t have one. There are so many things that inspire me. To name a few: Old Hollywood color musicals, at the moment Renessance and Late medieval art, earlier, artist such as Marlene Dumas, Helmut Newton, Cornelia Parker, Sarah Lucas, Tracey Emin, Gillian Wearing, Louise Bourgeois, Marina Abramovic, Tom Friedman, Jeff Koons, Pierre & Gilles, Jean-Paul Goude, Irving Penn, Erwin Blumenfeld. Peole in general and their interaction between each other inspires and intrests me a lot.


Have you ever had a moment when you questioned your career entirely?

Sometimes doing art felt so difficult financially and mentally demanding that I was thinking what else I could do but then I always got sucked into my work again and I’m not anymore thinking about it.

What is your favourite art gallery and why?

I don’t have one. Off coarse it would be wonderful one day to work with a truly big international gallery. It’s very important for me to work with good people that seem to respect what I do.

Who would you most like to collaborate with and why?

I would love to collaborate with one of the big fashion houses for example.


What is your daily routine when working?

Often in the mornings I answer emails and do creative thinking or do retouching work on computer and afternoons I go to studio to do practical work.

Do you find that Helsinki’s culture inspires or influences your art?

I find inspiration all over, it’s not bound to sertain city or country. I love Helsinki for it’s services as the capital and it’s suburbs with a lot of nature.

What advice would you give to a young person following in your footsteps?

Artist have to have an inner need to create that doesn’t go away. Plus one needs a lot of endurance and patience and a inner believe in ones own vision.


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