“Without art my life would be empty.”
Paul Zimmerman in conversation with Rauni Mustonen
Paul Zimmerman: How did you develop interest in art?
Rauni Mustonen: When I was young I used to make the small sculptures of clay but at school my imagination faded.
My way to make painting was long. At first jewels and other items of hard materials then woodcut, pâte de verre, photography, video and finally painting.
PZ: What is the most challenging aspect of your work?
RM: The lack of concentration is my worst enemy.
PZ: What is your artistic process? How do you create your paintings?
RM: If the theme is figurative I make a drawing first. In abstract paintings the colours and form are the most important.
PZ: How do you know when the piece is finished?
RM: When I’m looking at one of my paintings or some other item and I cannot add or remove anything it’s ready.
Sometimes when the work is really good I have an odd physical feeling on the same body part where my heart is.
PZ: Have your practice changed over time?
RM: When I was working with hard materials I had to make a precise plan, measurements etc, which I couldn’t change during the process of manufacture.
When I’m painting I feel there are more dimensions to use.
PZ: What is art for you?
RM: Without art my life would be empty.
PZ: How would you describe yourself as an artist?
RM: I’m a very spontaneous person, get excited easily and take chances. It’s not dangerous but because of them I’m not as good a painter as I could have been.
PZ: Which artists are you most influenced by?
RM: They are few: Kandinsky, Giacometti and Van Gogh. Eino Leino in Finnish literature.
PZ: What are you working on now?
RM: I make graphic art, study different techniques and the possibility to combine graphic and painting.
PZ: How does the pandemic influence your work and sensibility?
RM: During this time my life is more isolated it is depressing but listening to the music helps over solitude.