Jarkko Rantanen paints landscapes, portraits and still lifes. These three basic motifs are the foundation of his work, although he uses them freely and constantly seeks new points of view. Art history serves as a great inspiration for Rantanen.
He has painted landscape paintings over the last ten years. For example, in the exhibition at tm-galleria 2019, he displayed a painting installation called Voyage pittoresque. The installation had 90 paintings all painted on aluminium panels. Rantanen collected the motifs for the paintings, varying from a modest pothole to massive mountainsides around Europe. All these places had some traces of human influence. Most of them had been battlefields earlier, but now they were taken over by nature.
Rantanen’s latest project has dealt with portrait painting. When covid closed society, he invited people to sit as models at his studio. The idea was to meet and paint different people as a sort of everyday activity. He started with his colleagues but ended up painting total strangers. Over 60 people have been portrayed so far, and the paintings will be exhibited at Turku Kunsthalle in 2023.
Rantanen paints primarily with oils on different surfaces. He uses canvas as well as aluminium and composite panels. He works fast and uses his fingers and spatulas as well as brushes to achieve the desired result. His painting style could be described as expressive, but there is realism and even a hint of meticulousness in his work.