Laitinen is generally considered to be an artist of extremes. He has sailed from Finland to Estonia in a bark boat of his own making (Bark Boat, 2010), built his own island (It’s My Island, 2007), and built trees with the help of hammer and nails and wood felled and chopped by the artist (Tree Reconstruction, 2013). His uncompromising work often attracts attention because of the way he constantly tests his own physical endurance. With nature as a starting point, he challenges stereotypes – the romantic notion of nature and masculinity – by exposing himself and his art to the forces of nature, often with an uncertain outcome. With an ever-present almost surreal sense of humor, he challenges both his physical and mental restraints. Laitinen’s approach has much in common with traditions of experimental performance art and he skillfully presents his work in different media.
Antti Laitinen (b. 1975) lives and works in Somerniemi, Finland. 2004 he received his MFA at the Academy of Fine Arts in Helsinki, and has had an international career since then. A selection of exhibitions includes GEM, Museum of Contemporary Art (group), The Hague and Waino Aaltonen Museum of Art, Turku (Group) and Nettie Horn gallery, London (solo). He represents Finland in the Finnish Pavilion at the 55th Venice Biennale. Works can be found in the collections of Kiasma, the Helsinki Museum of Art and Saatchi Gallery.