Maija Miettinen was born in Helsinki Finland and lives and works in Lebanon Pennsylvania where she carries on her studio practice. Currently she teaches art at Tyler School of Art, at Temple University in Philadelphia PA . She received her Master of Fine Arts degree, with a graduate minor in Comparative Cultural Studies from the Ohio State University in 2015.
In the past three years I have explored the ambiguous intersection between my paintings and the studio practice in relation to the theories of cultural marginalization, liminality, and power in the global world, but also how at the same time the work emerges from my immigrant reality while not being a reflection of my biography per se.
Above all else, on a surface of a painting I aim to infinitely renew the moment of encounter. I perceive the rejection of the illusionistic space creating a perpetual experience of here and now, where the access to the time construct of past, present and future is obstructed. Through the manipulation of allover, dense, pattern- like configurations and the use of competing layers and forms- originating from my cultural heritage, with bold, yet also subtle color variations, I want the paintings to strike the viewer visually as well as viscerally. Where the configurations start falling apart and the imperfection of the hand become visible, I see vulnerability but also delicate tension and confusion. With my recent works I strive to further challenge the viewers’ perception of the expanding surfaces and boundaries of a painting. Distinct from the surface are the painted sides, because I invite the viewer to look at the painting from different points of view, drawing attention to the paintings’ objecthood, while it is expanding to the space it occupies and ultimately to the viewers themselves.