Graffiti is here to stay – get used to it! Finland's biggest museum exhibition to date focusing exclusively on graffiti has street attitude. Curated by graffiti artist Jouni ‘Psyke’ Väänänen, For the Love of Freedom showcases approximately twenty powerful voices, including Oulu-based graffiti artists and the German artist Claudia ‘MadC’ Walde, one of the international top names of graffiti art. The exhibition also features a potpourri of photographs from the history of Finnish graffiti art.
Graffiti arrived in Finland in the mid-1980s. The golden years of the 1990s were in many places followed by zero tolerance, which forced the artists underground. Within the past ten years, however, interest in graffiti has increased substantially and it has again become more tolerated. In 2017, more than 20 cities in Finland already have designated, public graffiti walls. In Oulu, street art has been given space in electricity substations and underpasses, and many graffiti works have been commissioned by the city. The local street art association's website features a street art walking tour and news about latest projects.
Graffiti works are often based on letters, usually the name of the artist or the group. Techniques and materials vary depending on original idea, but graffiti is usually inked or spray-painted. The works displayed in the exhibition range from old school pieces that came to Finland with hip-hop culture to contemporary graffiti and post-graffiti that deliberately breaks the rules and boundaries of the genre.
The exhibition is produced by Kerava Art Museum.