When Words Get Tired

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Matti Sirvio’s current exhibition When Words Get Tired is on view at the artist’s gallery is Muscat, Oman.  With this collection of works, Sirvio expresses his observations of society and the larger, deeper messages that don’t sink in.  With the increasing pace of life and technology has come the gradual loss of the weight of words, and in a world saturated with imagery, the weight of symbols and signifiers.  “As the world seems to be spinning faster and faster, pictures have to fight for people’s attention.  Yes, the modern culture is described as visual, but is it really?” Sirvio questions.  “Very few people have any capacity to look at Rothko’s paintings.  They have too much undefined room in them.”

Our digital devices leave us less and less space, pulling us away from contemplating present, undefined moments and into social media, ads, and images.  Sirvio’s artwork does not bow to this cultural change.  The artist continues to work from a removed, spiritual place.  He calls these works the imprint of the Divine on his heart, “God’s handwriting on the walls of my private chambers.”  His subtle dimensionality in color and shape remains strong, making statements both emotive and beyond this world.  The theme of the exhibition is meditations on life and death, the before and after.  “The Storm is Passing Over” depicts two planes, the higher one shades of the underbelly of a lightening cloud, the lower is thick.  The grey-blue hues are solid and muddy.  The image could be interpreted as the earth, solid and receiving, and the quality of movement above in the heavens.  The meeting of eternal life and the form that ends in death, the before and after.

“Tired Words” is a fiery piece, like the orange tip of a flame exploding with golden hues.  Darker elements bare a defiance.  Is it the emotion of the words that still know their weight, the symbols with unmoving meaning?  With eyes hovering above our phones, we scan written words and skip entire paragraphs.  We scroll through images and bypass symbols in search of more.  Like these dark shapes, they haven’t lost their meaning.  We have lost our ability to receive it.  When Words Get Tired invites you to rest your gaze and meet the work with your own emotions and experiences.  The exhibition welcomes prolonged interaction as one searches for meaning.

Sirvio cites “Zeitgeist as being a moving piece in the particular collection of works for him.  It touches on the country the he affectionately calls home: Oman.  “The central piece of this show is a big painting called ‘Zeitgeist.’  It’s a reflection of my observations in Oman today.  The country is seeking her identity sometimes from the unknown past, sometimes from the unpredictable future.  There is a battle raging for people’s souls.  The invisible powers are like a huge magnet pulling people to all directions.”
To view When Words Get Tired type Matti Sirvio Galleria into Google Maps.  There you will find directions to the gallery space in the mountains of Al Amarat, Oman.  The exhibition is on view until March 31st.

mattisirvio.com

@matti_sirvio

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POSTE RESTANTE

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Matti Sirvio, painter, pastor, and humanitarian aid worker, has started a new venture.  He has opened an artist-run, as yet untitled, gallery space.  Off the beaten path in Muscat, Oman, the upcoming show is titled POSTE RESTANTE.  The name refers of a post office that holds onto mail until recipients call to receive it.  Strategically placed outside of the town center, the gallery is a place that people must seek out.  “You go there through an exotic mountain road until you finally reach this newly built suburb area called Al Amrat.  Wild donkeys walk by.  In the evening, the lonely moon shines over the surrounding mountains.  Not one person could accidentally stumble in here. Only those who cannot live without art will find it,” he says.  Tucked away on the outskirts of Muscat, the gallery doesn’t have an official address.  Visitors can type ‘Matti Sirvio Art Galleria’ into Google Maps to get directions. “I want people to come with an expectation to see if they ‘got some mail.’” Alluding to the name of exhibition, he hopes that people will seek and find a special connection to a piece of artwork.

The name POSTE RESTANTE speaks to Sirvio on multiple levels.  It holds the elements of adventure and searching, and also temporality.  These traits are reflective of his paintings.  Sirvio’s artwork captures the emotion within fleeting moments, meditating on the ephemeral qualities of life with joy and gratitude.  His current works in the gallery “contribute to deeper thoughts, a lot of hope and joy for the coming Christmas season.”

Transience is a part of life for Sirvio.  While he calls Oman home, he is originally from Finland.  He has lived, worked, and travelled throughout Central Asia, nations formerly part of the Soviet Union, and the Middle East.  Even though he returns to Oman, he doesn’t stay in one place for too long.  “With the gallery, I hope to travel less, but I’m afraid this is just wishful thinking,” he says.  “I have a show planned in Europe for March and another one [in Muscat] for the fall.  Besides that, I do continue visiting our churches in Central Asia and the Middle-East.”  While Sirvio’s work is “very rewarding” the frequent travel can be challenging.  “May God give me more wisdom on how to plan my schedule.”  You can keep up with the artist here:

Mattisirvio.com

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POSTE-RESTANTE will be on view from December 16, 2017-January 16, 2018.

(Originally posted on INTLFineArtFund.com)