Viggo Wallensköld paints people who feel real. Their presence exudes from the paintings, as if they were accurate portraits or painted from a live model. However, Wallensköld does not use models. The people in his paintings are conceived and grown in his imagination, although of course, there may be recognizable references to old photographs and masters of art history, such as Diego Velázquez.
His artworks often depict only one person but also include some type of powerful element that can be seen as “the sitter’s” attribute. Wallensköld mainly doesn’t go for attributes that are typical for religious art, but his characters are paired with such things as bookshelves, armchairs or toys. Often, even a boldly patterned wallpaper may have a strong impact on how we view the person in the painting. The significance of the attribute is similar to that of portraits: It gives the character some background, clues to their life and personality.
Wallensköld paints very deliberately, with surfaces varying from light single layers to several paint layers and smooth finishes. Along with the painting style, the temperament of the paintings also varies from expressive to very calm and serene. No matter what the finish, Wallensköld can always create in his artworks an atmosphere with an empowering impact. The people depicted in the paintings do not represent the physicality of stereotypes, but nevertheless demand attention. It is important to be seen.
Viggo Wallensköld was named the Young Artist of the Year in 2005. Since then, his paintings have been much loved among the Finnish contemporary art crowd and have also won acclaim in Russia and France. After eight exhibitions at the Konstsalongen, Wallensköld now visits Gallery Halmetoja while the Konstsalongen is undergoing renovations. Veikko Halmetoja and Viggo Wallensköld have also collaborated before, for example in 2012 at the 5th Pirkanmaa Triennial curated by Halmetoja, where Wallensköld created a site-specific series of paintings and drawings within the permanent collection of the Lenin Museum in Tampere.