Happy Women’s Day!

What a week! As you all could see here on the site, the week started out with my big artist comeback and ended with the International Women’s Day! So much GIRL POWER! I made this video for all my sisters out there – but the message is for everyone!

We are women, ladies & girls.
We are not objects.
We are not trophies.
We are not here to please you.
We exist on our own terms.
We own our bodies.
We own our stories.
Happy Women’s Day!

NEW! “Red Story nr. 3”

“Red Story nr. 3” by Mia Makila, 2019. Digital collage. Edition of 5. Available.

DETAILS:

This is the third piece of my “Red Story” suite – a visual series about the traumas I am slowly overcoming. Instead of my usual perspective of examining the emotions of the survivor/victim (me), I am focusing on the crazy actions and bizarre behavior of the abusers. In the third story piece I am exploring the strange behavior of one of my ex boyfriends. Our relationship was based on a power imbalance. I lived in his house, he was a ‘master’ – dominant, in control, better, stronger, smarter – whilst I was made into a submissive ‘lolita’, a living doll, an object, weaker, dependent and isolated. This imbalance had many dimensions – it was economical, material, physical, emotional, psychological and sexual.
 
During our first year of living together in his house, he had a bizarre ritual of unzipping his pants right after he had served me dinner, then he would take out his (soft) dick and place it on the dining table and would just be standing like that for a while – so proud of himself and his ‘thing’. This usually happened when the family across the street (a mom, dad and two teenage boys) also were having their dinner and could see him standing like that, through their window. I would do what all good girls are supposed to do in situations where men make us uncomfortable – I would giggle.
 
But after I was out of this toxic relationship, I started to question this absurd routine. What was he trying to tell me – with his dick on the table, next to the food I was about to enjoy? What did he demonstrate? Was it an act of intimidation, a power demonstration, psychological abuse or perhaps an expression of a sexual fetish (with the eyes of our neighbor family as an important factor)?

NEW! “Red Story No. 2”

“Red Story No. 2” by Mia Makila, 2019 (digital collage). Available.

Details:

This piece was difficult to make. It is a real memory from my life. A moment that repeated itself over and over again throughout my relationship with an abusive man. I loved that man. Or I thought I loved him. I thought he loved me. But at times, he told me he wanted to kill me. During a few seconds while physically abusing me. he even tried to kill me:

Most of the times he is just threatening my life in various ways. Sometimes with his hands. Sometimes he has a knife. Or boiling water. I am on the floor. He is on top of me. I have his spit in my face. His hungry saliva all over me. His hands around my neck. We are both sweaty. I am screaming. He is yelling, calling me things, telling me that I am a sinner, I am the devil, a prostitute. Worthless. I am fighting for my life but at the same time – I am not here. I disappear. I dissociate. At times I am shielding  my body with a painting of birch trees that hangs on our wall. When he is trying to strangle me, I pretend to get unconscious to make him stop. My strategy is successful. The grip of his hands around my neck relaxes, he whispers: “Mia? Mia?….Mia?” Since I am holding my breath, I suddenly grasp for air and he starts to cry: “I am such a monster… I’m sorry. I’m sorry”. My job now is to make him feel better. “No, you are wonderful, I love you so much, you are not a monster” I tell him and start to comfort him with my body. Nobody knows what he is doing to me. Nobody is comforting me, not even myself.

NEW! “The Tragic Death Of Observation Cat”

“The Tragic Death Of Observation Cat” by Mia Makila, 2019. Digital ultrachrome print on cotton archival paper. Edition of 5. Available.

Details:

Earlier this year I found an abandoned piece from 2012 of a very angry observation cat (appropriately based on a recurring nightmare where I feel forced to pet a cat which I forgot I had so it hasn’t been fed or nurtured for years – and it is dusty and starving and the fur is covered with eyeballs). 

NEW! “My Secret Garden”

“My Secret Garden” by Mia Makila, based on the mask “Postmortem III” by Candice Angelini​. Digital ultrachrome print, edition of 5. Available.

DETAILS:

“My Secret Garden” by Mia Makila, based on the mask sculpture “Postmortem III” by Candice Angelini​. Digital ultrachrome print, edition of 5. Available.

Based on a meditation experience I had the other week:

“My life is no longer a horizontal world of a “past, present and future”. My life is no longer a timeline to follow – but a vertical cycle of natural processes; death, nurturing, life, power. A journey from darkness to light.”

This is the first new art collaboration piece with Candice Angelini. There will be more.

The uncompromised expression

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 When I am working with my art – or anything creative – I am only interested in finding powerful and strong expressions.  I always start with the eyes – if there’s no genuine expression in the eyes or if they lack intensity, I won’t finish that piece and I just move on to another project. As soon as I start to compromise my vision, I end up feeling lost –  and when the creativity turns into a struggle I lose the joy of being part of it. Sometimes it feels like starting a new painting on a blank canvas is like taming a beast (the canvas being the beast  of ‘nothingness’ or something dead and empty).

I’ve always disliked a blank space – especially an empty white space. My desire is to fill the void, to make an expression, a statement, to tell a story and to create meaning where there seems to be no meaning at all. perhaps that’s why I like to fill the white canvas with a dark background. The darkness can hold all kinds of secrets within that black space – but something all white -without any hope of details inside, really creeps me out.

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My art is extremely personal and even though I don’t use my own face in my Lolita demons, they are all part of me and my fears, my rage, my pain and my inner voice. They are all self portraits in a way.

Sperm Wounds is my rage, Scrollan is an expression of  the helplessness I’ve felt in my past, Stigmata is about my physical hell.

The stories I share in my art, lays in the emotional expressions of my demons –  especially visible in the eyes, smile and body language. The portraits are simple in the compositions, there aren’t many details in the background, if any at all. But if you make eye contact with the characters, you will find endless shades of emotions and details in there.

Detail of Fire Head

Detail of Fire Head

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Through my stories and artistic expression, you get to share my emotions and the memories of humiliation, sadness and horror – and what it’s like to be a human soul in a world where heaven and hell are both centered inside our minds and hearts – and also outside ourselves.

In every corner of life.

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Self portrait, 2011

The artworks of 2015

July - Working on "Sperm Wounds" - the first painting in almost 5 years!

July – Working on “Sperm Wounds” – the first painting in almost 5 years!

I haven’t really been painting since 2010. It’s been a long break (and a long journey back from the blockages) and I’ve missed it terribly. My work in 2015 is dominated by two concepts – rage and home. There are a lot of floating or flying houses, perhaps because I spent the first half of the year without a home of my own. And my Lolita demons are not scared anymore – they are furious! They are taking back whatever people took from them, especially their sexuality and humiliation. I am slowly healing and it’s reflected in my art as well.

Artworks from 2015

 

 

The inspiration for 2015’s artworks

The inspiration for my art this year has been coming from a lot of different sources – old votive paintings from Mexico with the addition of words and stories at the bottom, the American folk artist Grandma Moses and my own art, especially from 2008-2009, just before my long hiatus due to the creativity crises.

 

The unfinished works of 2015

Sometimes I start some projects but never finish them – perhaps because they lack something or because they feel flat and dull.

I’m so looking forward to the new year – and I can’t wait to be painting, drawing, making digital art, writing and expressing myself in every artistic way possible! Happy new year everyone – 2016 will be an amazing opportunity to be courageous and confident in our work, and empathetic and kind in our hearts. ❤

2015 – My year in pictures

2015 has been one of the toughest and at the same time one of the best years of my life. It’s been an important year of rediscovering my creativity, exploring new concepts as true love, lasting happiness, freedom and the first steps to independence. I’ve grown so much this year, I don’t even feel like I am the same person as I was in January – perhaps mostly because I’ve slowly been taking back the control of my life and ended some toxic and destructive relationships that were draining me. Now, I’ve become a minimalist in the sense of what I have in my life – only good things and people who makes me happy and inspired are allowed to stay in my life, the rest has to go.

My video messages from 2015:

The stories behind my art: “Another Place”

Another Place

Another Place, 2007 – digital

2007 was one of the best years of my life. I was totally lost in that magical flow of making art, experimenting, exploring and being creative almost all hours of the day. I was having fun and trying out new techniques and styles.

Only 2 years earlier, I was only painting (see photo below) – and now I was making collages,  using mixed media, paintings, drawings and also digital pieces.

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A painting from 2005 (“Cries and Whispers” – referring to the 1972 film by Ingmar Bergman.)

Another Place was my first real digital artwork and I finished it in late 2007. I had only used PhotoShop to edit the photos and selfies for my blog for a couple of years, but I had no real training, just playing around and trying stuff out. While making Another Place  I could feel how I was growing as an artist and that the digital media was just right for me and my artistic expression. I was just having so much fun!

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The work in progress.

Another Place premiered in my solo show at Hera Gallery in Stockholm in January 2008:

And then one month later it showed up in my solo show in Reijmyre outside my hometown:

Even though I had so much fun making Another Place, I made it during one of the hardest times in my life and I was deeply depressed. That’s what the piece is about – that other place in life where only darkness rule.

When I finally came out of my depression, I thought it would be fun to make a new version of Another Place, because I had reached another place in my life. A place where light ruled, and where the colors were brighter. So I created a second version of it in 2012.

Another Place (second version)

Another Place (light version)

Another Place (light version) in Inked Magazine, 2014 and the darker version in Calle Magazine from 2010.

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The stories behind my art: “Grim Reaper – [Daisy Adair]”

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“Grim Reaper – [Daisy Adair]” by Mia Makila, 2007

I remember making Grim Reaper – [Daisy Adair] in late 2007 very clearly, because it was the first painting where I felt like I had found something new and exciting in my color palette. I had gained weight due to my depression at the time, and I was totally hooked on sugar and candy and it’s reflected in my art as well – in the palette and in the sugary and playful tone of the style.

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a contemporary grim reaper – Daisy Adair, Dead like me (2003)

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Portrait of a young Marie Antoinette (1762)

The inspiration for Grim Reaper came from unexpected sources: the modern grim reapers of Dead Like Me, an american comedy-horror series that I was watching at the time, Marie Antoinette, Mark Ryden, Disney – and one day I was making whipped cream for a cake, and I just looked down at the perfect white ripples in the bowl and got inspired by the texture – so I used it in the face, and it has become a trademark for my art, the wrinkly demon faces.

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the texture of whipped cream

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work in progress shots

My Grim Reaper painting has been featured many times in art magazines, even on the cover of Swedish horror magazine Eskapix and the French art magazine – Freak Wave (but notice how they used an early version of the painting, without the color splashes).

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