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Biography

Biography 1
Biography 2

Petri Merta / A second generation visual artist

My name is Petri Merta (born 1960) and I am a second generation visual artist. My late father Paavo Merta (1931-2014) was a member of the Artists’ Association of Finland and the Tampere Artists’ Association.

Biography 3

Childhood

Through my father’s profession, I became familiar with art work as well as artists early during my childhood. I grew up in an atelier building for Tampere-based artists in the Kaleva district with a number of painters, printmakers and sculptors and their families as our neighbours and many known Finnish artists as our family friends.

Biography 4

Art Studies

I was interested in exploring a more analytical approach to the creative industry and arts, and ended up studying art history and literature at Turku and Jyväskylä universities, and later graduated as a Master of Arts, with art history as my major subject. Although I have studied art history within the Art Studies programme and know the art world and its different fields fairly well, as a visual artist I am self-taught – and proud of it. It is a matter of a certain attitude and a way of seeing things, which produces interesting images and contents. While the techniques of visual arts can be taught, I believe that one can only be born a visual artist. In my twenties, as a student, I decided to give painting a try and produced a number of large oil paintings. At the same time, my first manuscripts and 16mm short films were bought by the Finnish Broadcasting Company Yle, which at the time seemed a more exciting path to explore. The idea of making art was still in the back of my mind.
Biography 5

Photographs, collages, video art and exhibitions

In 1991, I held my own wide-ranging exhibition at the Mältinranta art centre in Tampere, displaying enlarged photographs, collages and video art. The exhibition was then followed by nearly twenty years of hiatus in my art works, while I focused on my TV and video productions. My private exhibition at the Galleria Kapriisi gallery in Tampere at the beginning of 2014 marked a new beginning in my visual arts career. The exhibition included paintings, drawings and prints. This catalysed plans for a number of future exhibitions both in Finland and abroad along with continuous production of new works.
Final words
Biography 6

Altius, fortius…

A scientific perspective combined with a spontaneity of the work process is probably quite a useful approach as I am interested in the content and meanings within images. The associations elicited by images and their psychological effects are an area where I’m most at home. That is why many of the themes of my works arise from what lies below the surface – fish and other creatures of the sea, religion, human sexuality, memories, desires, obsessions… There can never be too many fine pictures in the world. That is why I have decided to make a few more.