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Jan-Erik Andersson: Surrealistic Midsummer's Pole, 1998. You may not use this photo for commercial purposes. © Photo: Helsinki Art Museum / Hanna Rikkonen

Surrealistic Midsummer’s Pole

Artist Jan-Erik Andersson

Ulapparaitti 6, Helsinki

Jan-Erik Andersson (b. 1954) is known for his diverse and mischievious works in which he applies a wide variety of techniques to criticize and challenge modern art. Andersson’s art is joyful and humorous but, at the same time, still honours traditional aesthetics. Despite the apparent light-heartedness and spontaneity of his works, his approach is based on thorough research. Also known as an art critic, he has organised exhibitions, installations and performances. He and the architect Erkki Pitkäranta co-founded the art group known as ‘Rosegarden Productions’.

“Surrealistic Midsummer’s Pole” is based on the traditional maypole of the Finnish archipelago. The pole, which includes the mechanism that allows wind to move the spheres attached to it, is the work of a machine shop in Turku. Hanging from the spheres are figures different kids chasing each other, riding bicycles and reaching for the sky. One kid, juggling balls and stars, stands on the top of the pole.

The work belongs to the collections of the Helsinki Art Museum.

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