MIA MAKILA (b. 1979 in Sweden) artist and founder of the Swedish lowbrow art movement – ART MONSTERS OF SWEDEN.
Self-taught in every creative area and with a strong desire to devote her life to art, Makila is a unique voice in the international art scene. Her work includes many different mediums; new media art (digital collages), painting, drawing, mixed media and photography.
During her 15 years of experimenting with digital collages in Photoshop, Mia Makila has developed her own technique of “painting with images” by using hundreds of layers of images, scans and digital paint instead of the traditional collage technique of mixing paper cut outs and glue.
In the painting process she uses acrylic paint from Winsor & Newton and Daler Rowney, preferably on on canvas or board.
Her style is a balanced juxtaposition of creepy and cute, dark and playful, fun and unapologetically daring. The themes vary but are often feminist statements and explorations of the human psyche and primal emotions (fear, angst, shame and rage) – always approached with a raw and brutal directness.
Makila describes her typical palette of hot pink and baby blue as “a comment on women struggling to be heard and respected in a man’s world”.
Her style is influenced by outsider art, folk art, the surrealists, renaissance art, the Pre-Raphaelites and from modern pop culture – like Garbage Pail Kids, Disney classics and vintage nostalgia. Being a movie buff, her artistic vision is colored by the visual worlds of movie directors David Lynch, Ingmar Bergman and Alfred Hitchcock.
Mia Makila has exhibited her art on three continents and is mostly active internationally but based on the East coast of Sweden.
” T h e A r t o f H e a l i n g “
“My art is a balancing act between the raw and the delicate. It includes both dark and playful elements – like a colorful Hell, filled with absurdities, funny contradictions and sexual curiosity. Each demon in my art is part of a personal mythology. I make them look cute, bizarre and colorful – so they won’t intimidate me as much. I believe both creativity and a sense of humor will save you from self-destruction. My art and my poor little demons have saved my life many times.
I started creating collages and mixed media pieces in 2006, three years after a messy divorce from an abusive man. Before I discovered the liberating process of making collages in Photoshop, I used paper cut outs from books which where leftovers from my marriage. It felt great to cut, destroy and rip the books apart while gluing myself back together through my art. If you follow my art timeline, you can actually witness the healing process; through the dark and painful places to happier, candy colored worlds. I use my art as a tool for self-reflection and expressing inner wounds – as an act of pure catharsis.”
– M i a M a k i l a
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