Ursus arctos Painting by Toni-Petri Ruotsalainen

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Art Description

Painting: Oil on Wood.

A painting from my series TOTEM. Oil painting on board, signed on the back. Framed with a white, square pine frame.

Totems are spirit beings, sacred objects or symbols, that function as emblems for people or groups. They are often animals, plants, or natural phenomenae, with which people are believed to have a spiritual connection; a person with a totem believes he possesses the power and aspects of their totem. The belief system of totems includes the notion that different people or groups have different totems, by which some of their attributes are determined.

In my paintings I explore the relationship between the postmodern human, and the nature that surrounds them. Many people feel that they have a special connection with nature or animals, and that they are akin to specidic animals. For an increasing portion of us, however, this connection is made exclusively virtually, through the pixels on the screen of a phone, computer, or television. In my work animals, who from afar appear detailed, photorealistic and natural, upon closer inspection break into pixelated, abstract masses of color. This is to invite the viewer to ponder their own connection with nature – if our direct connection with nature has been severed, can we truly be a part of it?




Ursus arctos

Toni-Petri Ruotsalainen



Size: 31.5 W x 31.5 H x 2 in

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