“THE BONES OF RAPE” BY MIA MAKILA

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“THE BONES OF RAPE” BY MIA MAKILA, 2016 [digital]

Detail studies:

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The anatomy of a broken sexuality. Rape is a complete murder when it comes to the victim’s spirit and sexuality, but yet it’s treated by our laws as if it’s a minor crime. Rape is not only a violent attack, rape can be many things – even having sex with your partner when you don’t feel like it but that is ignored or when a ‘no’ is not enough for someone to leave your body alone. This piece was difficult to make, but it felt important.

Fighting for the invisible world underneath our skin

I’ve spent the recent days at various clinics to visit both doctors and dentists. Since I have such a deep fear of dentists, it’s hard for me to get the necessary treatment. It’s been a scary ride, but at least I am feeling better from the virus infection.

I’m still thinking about the thing Johnny asked me the other day – if I’m a rebel who is fighting for or against something. I’m still not sure.

Maybe rebels are always inevitable fighting both for and against something. Fighting against old system of beliefs. Truths. Patterns. Rules. Injustice. And fighting for a change. For a new set of ideas. Visions. Freedom. Compassion.

I think when it comes to me, I am fighting against my own past, who I was forced to become, who I was in the eyes of others, their expectations of me and roles I had to play to be able to survive, but also against bigger things, like the castration and the censorship of female sexuality, humiliation, abuse and disconnections. I am fighting for the freedom of the soul, for people to be able to be who they are without feeling shame.  I’m fighting for our core voice to be heard, to celebrate the sexual playfulness, the survival of the inner child, the expression of our demons, fears and anxieties – I’m fighting for a catharsis of the heart – to get rid of the darkness other people have forced into the our pure hearts. I’m fighting for the acceptance of our precious  vulnerability – the source of love, empathy, intimacy and creativity.

People usually label my art as “Lowbrow-popsurrealism”, “creepy-cute”, “dark but with a sense of humor”, “perverted and funny”,”raw and playful” or even as “art brut”. But most people agree on that my art is an expression of something real about our inner world – even though demons don’t really exist in real life.

Bacon Colored Demon

Bacon Colored Demon

It’s that realness of the invisible world underneath our skin that I want to fight for. This is why my demons are without skin. The invisible world inside is just as real as the one we can see, touch, smell and feel – and I’m trying to add all those dimensions to it through my art. My mission is to fight for its voice, heart and soul. The body-less body inside. The heart within our hearts. The texture of our souls. The burning and radiant core of our existence. To me, all these elements of a human being are part of our magic and it’s just too beautiful to ignore. Since I have a talent for seeing these things,  the invisible and vulnerable world underneath our skin, it would be a crime not to express them through my art and make them visible and accessible to other people.

I’m a rebel of the world of delicate rawness, love, light and the pureness of our natural sexual energy.

The women who came before me

My Finnish grandmother 

My Swedish grandmother 

During the monthly hormone disruption, I’ve been thinking a lot about my own femininity and my body. The menstruation cycle is just as private as it is a connection to the women in the line behind me. Genetics. A shared familiarity in symptoms, cycles, physicality. Like a secret society of womanhood. Then I started to think about my two grandmothers, who were so different from each other and colorful in their own unique ways.

My Finnish grandmother on my father’s side was kind of spiritual and very artistic and creative. The Finns are quite mysterious and they hold a lot of pride and integrity – and I see my grandmother as an enigma at times. I used to visit her after my grandfather died and we would listen to classical music together or she would translate her poems and read them to me. She had a lot of depth but I think she was starving for some intellectual stimulation. Even though she was a happy person, there was always a streak of darkness to her. It intrigued me. I was fascinated by the way she could walk through her childhood memories with such ease, talking about it with her whole body, and then tell gruesome stories about the war (the winter war against Russia) that would transport me there. She was a good story teller. Her life was hard at times and she sacrificed a lot of herself and her creativity to be able to be a good homemaker. But – there were times when she would create something beautiful for her family. Like the time when she created a forest in her living room for the kids to play in. She went out in the forest, collected moss, grass, branches, stumps, leaves, small tress, sticks and stones and arranged it on a huge rug in the corner of the room to make it look like a real forest.

My aunt, uncle and my dad in my grandmother’s living room forest

My grandparents

After a few weeks it all began to decay and smell, so she went back to the woods and gently returned the moss and the trees to its natural environment. It was a lovely project. It inspired me when I was decorating the living room in one of my earlier apartments as a ‘winter room’ where I went all in with a wintry style in June:

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My Swedish grandmother was very different. She was almost childlike at times. Especially in the brutal way she used her honesty and was loud about it – and in her naive view of the world, but she had a lot of spunk to her – and a very dirty sense of humor. When I think about her I see a free spirit trapped in a time and place where society didn’t accept it, so she tried to fit in, trying to fit the norm but not in the most graceful way. She was forced to move out from home in her early teens. I think that abrupt end to her childhood and the need to do what it takes to survive in a harsh world colored her temperament and behavior. My grandmother was very warm and she really loved me. I think my Swedish grandparents were the only relatives, except for my parents, who showed me genuine love and affection when I was a child. I felt seen by her. Not understood, but at least I felt seen. Because she was like a child and I was an old soul.

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Me with both my grandmothers, 1999

I think they are both part of me somehow. Here and there in the genes, but they have also influenced me in various ways. I inherited my talent and creativity from my Finnish grandmother and my sense of humor, my honesty and my childlike quality from my Swedish grandmother. They are both gone now but I still talk to them in my head once in a while. And I am sort of a close neighbor to my Finnish grandmother, because she’s buried in the cemetery across the street from my building. If I squint, I think I can see her grave from here.

I killed Lolita

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Today’s selfie.

The working title for the new collection of paintings is at the moment “I killed Lolita”. It’s referring to myself and the way I used to make myself submissive to my past lovers and how I belittled myself as a sexual being – and as a person in general. My very first blog [2005] was called “Little Mia”. This collection of new artworks I’m currently working on is not a ‘revenge’ thing nor an expression of a victim, but simply me returning all the crap people put on me that never belonged to me in the first place. Their judgment, sexual perversions, their dark energy, mind games, power fixation, hate, humiliation and neglect. I don’t want it. I’m getting rid of it. And I’m turning the ugly things into beautiful art. THAT is to really overcome a trauma; to reclaim everything that was ever lost or stolen from me – and turning it into something spectacular. Perhaps even turn it into magic, we’ll see when the collection is finished.

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A Lolita sketch from 2010, I never finished it. The time wasn’t right. NOW it’s time to kill her.

Blog post from 2013.

I even wrote about this Lolita murder process on my old blog. 3 years later it’s finally happening. I guess I am going all in. Facing it all. Letting Lolita out to play and have fun with all the humiliation other people made her go through – hence the titles of my recent paintings: “Sperm Wounds” and “His Wet Dream” and I’m working on “Bleeding Nipples” right now.

It’s time for me to explore my inner Lolita. To find her weak spots, her power and strength – and why she’s been with me for so many years. I don’t want to portray her as a flat cardboard version of a blow up doll or simply make her into a victim. Like everything about me, there’s a lot of contradictions here; she’s seductive and that is to be in control – but then she is OK with being forced into a submissive position – why? I have a lot to explore. This will be a fun and important collection of works. I will try to make it my best one yet. And for the first time, I have a little distance to my Lolita. I’m breaking free from her and it feels amazing.

I need to kill Lolita – and  my art is my weapon of choice.

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Me, Lolita style, 2009.