Jaakko
In his art, Jaakko Valo deals with subjects that the human kind has not been able to solve, even its' most powerful state of knowledge and prosperity. All the way from the 1970's he has always returned to the theme of war, where the contradiction of progress the most pointedly comes into light. The incomprehensibility of the contradiction first calls forth a great confusion and repugnance in the artist –then the energy to start fighting the situation through means of art.

In Valo's work, the ways of expression have changed a lot, but his tireless will to deal with the reality created by man and to manifest it to the spectator is common to all of his work. The stylistic devices used from a content's and communication's focus, such as realistic and abstract expression, cannot be seen as each other's opposites. Valo has harnessed them as media of his own ethic individualism, where the stylistic structures and opposites of art don't matter any more.

Valo doesn't despise aesthetics, but he rejects the self-satisfied or in their extreme form narsistic goals that sometimes are narrowmindedly attached to it. Aesthetics means to Valo the absoluteness of art. He uses it to bring forth what there is outside of it –to lop off the unnecessary and the inconstant from the chaotic abundance of life. When form and content are in balance, the work of art is ready. It is ready, when it exactly reflects the conscience of the artist.


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Sepi Positive attitude towards life and subjectivity are elementary in Jaakko Valo's art. In his earlier production he pictured people (Elias) in their plain state of everyday life, and often at work. Public works, tunnel and wall painitings as well as sculptures form one continuum, in different ways, though. When he in his paintings brought man as the human theme of his art, in his public works of art he uses art to make the environment of man human. Sculptures like "House of Sepi" (1997) and "Appreciation" (2000) are syntheses of both: the artist uniquely applies to them memorial-like monumentality. The monumentality makes the tribute to man, his work and dreams, come true as impressively as possible.  
Loka Marras During the past few years Jaakko Valo has used wood as the basic material of his reliefs and sculptures. The work "October-November-December" (1999), consisting of three reliefs, has come into being in three months as the name tells us. The work is like a documentation of images limited to a certain time. It expresses the artist's ablity to bring together the view of a sculptor and the family tradition of a craftsman. Wood, as a typical Finnish material, resiliently consents to the artist's stream of consciousness and fantasy.
  Hannu Castrén
  jaakko.valo@pp.inet.fi