This first monograph on the Franco-Finnish painter Henni Alftan brings together a wide selection of her latest works. They are introduced by the texts of Julie Crenn & Marja-Terttu Kivirinta, which describe her work in the field of contemporary painting and highlight her interest in the gaze, the double, cinematic composition, and the disquiet aroused by a vision grown so sharp it becomes too precise.
Born 1979 in Helsinki, Henni Alftan lives and works in Paris.
“I paint pictures. These pictures are the consequence of my observations of the visible world and its representations. Small perceptions of the everyday will merge with reflections on looking, painting and image making: the motif of my works is equally painting itself, its history, the paint as a physical substance, the tableau as an object. Painting and picture often imitate each other.
In painting one can see how a picture appears, for it is in our nature to see images in a simple stain or a few hasty brushstrokes. Our gaze seeks constantly to interpret, to give meaning to what it perceives. When is that moment, when begins or ends the resemblance? I'd like to see that moment, when the paint starts to refer, to resemble something other than itself. That is why I seek to give only the necessary amount of indications. I hint. (What you think you see is often hidden from view.)
There are no photographs on the walls in my studio. . I prefer to employ observation and deduction. I look at people, at the world and at its representations in pictures, painted and otherwise. My paintings are constructions of lines, colours and proportions. The way I paint is predetermined in the sketch, the plan. But my images are not new. I did not really invent them. It is as if they were already there.”