A Finnish artist suffering from sexual neurosis
... wait a minute.
drawing paintings and cartoons.
Kalervo Palsa considered himself as reborn August Strindberg. He portrayed death through sexual neuroses. He classified himself as a fantastic realist. A too familiar story was Palsa's destiny too - he was given some understanding only after his death, dying for pneumonia after some hard drinking.
Maybe it was his birth and death that describe his life pretty damn well. He was born 1947 in poor Kittilä and died there 1987, poor all the same. Even though he travelled a bit, from Helsinki to Sweden and Paris, he always came back to Kittilä, having a love/hate -relationship.
Already in public school as a kid wee Kalervo knew the score: He got minus zero for an essay portraying a drunken Santa Claus, based on true story.
In the painting called The Devil and The Death Palsa painted a priest and a boozer drinking alcohol with the former two. Lestadian city of Kittilä couldn't handle that. After his death there were claims that the filthy bones of the pagan should be removed from the holy ground. They wanted a genius who would paint flowers. Instead, they got a wierdo who painted those flowers stuck up in ass. In one of the his most famous paintings he represents a man hung on his own huge penis.
But it wasn't Kalervo Palsa who created these images. They were already there - as we can see from his school essay - and Palsa was just putting them into frames. But Palsa concluded his own tragedy with the quote: "My favourite hobby, in addition to masturbation and painting, was to piss down from a bridge into flowing water, downstream."
15.9.2002 Palsa has entered Kiasma, the major art venue in Finland. They say Palsa represented the brutality of real life in a way which was too hot to handle. Fashions come and go and now it's time for Palsa's resurrection. Or rather, it's time to bring Kalle back; now, when he's not dangerous anymore. Che, Lennon, James Dean. Palsa fits into the pattern. Critics of the day have a chance to show off their liberalism. They have discovered the misunderstood genius - so praise them! But I'll bet if you ever visit any of those critics you cannot find a painting by Palsa hanging on their walls...