Jani Leinonen

At first, it is difficult to say whether Jani Leinonen is critical underneath his surface of commercial populism. He and his works are so sincerely nice that you become suspicious, then pissed off – and finally amused by your own reactions. Rather than being critical, Leinonen makes the viewers critical by being so bluntly uncritical.

In the art field the paradigm is to be critically leftist, even though the art market is one of the worst luxury markets of our time. Leinonen doesn’t want to underestimate the viewer and say it out loud. He makes the viewer experience it. Leinonen forces viewers to think about the value of important things by making them pay. In Leinonen’s Supershop everything is for sale: art, nationality, welfare, life. Leinonen, born and raised in Finland, has outsourced his painting production to Russians – who governed Finland before 1917 – but who are now trying to immigrate to the much richer Finland.

Another work by Leinonen, Pay-per-View, includes paintings by anyone from art superstars to street artists. All the paintings are 40x60 cm, and have been framed with a special frame that includes a built-in slot machine and has liquid-crystal frame glass that is opaque in its normal state. When the viewer puts a coin in the slot, the glass turns transparent revealing the hidden painting for fifteen seconds. Paintings have different prices determined by the artist’s position in the art field. In the beginning of the show, fifteen seconds of a Gerhard Richter work costs two euros, while viewing the work of street artist Kalevi Tulla costs twenty cents. Once viewers start viewing the works, the prices follow the law of supply and demand: the more times you pay, the higher the price; the fewer times you pay, the lower the price.



"Supersoppi" (2004, Mänttä)

LEINONEN's Anything Helps" the Poor

Help the poor and join the release party of our brand new product line Anything Helps" in Frankfurter Kunstverein, Frankfurt a.M, May 10th at 19:30 PM.

Anything Helps" is a line of plastic wall signs designed by authentic beggars. The signs have been collected from real beggars in San Antonio (USA), Frankfurt (Germany) and Helsinki (Finland). The production of the signs has been outsourced to the home country of the beggar to insure the authenticity. The beggars were Kurdistanian (in Germany), Russian (in Helsinki) and american (in San Antonio). 10% of each purchase goes to the poor.