Lehtola’s photographs defined the Finnish urban youth culture of the 1990s.
Transcription of a interview related to Photography studies at Aalto University
I am searching for equivalents for my inner experience from the visible reality. I am interested in how an image emerges and how it transforms its subjects in the process. It is a non-linear, layered narrative that can grow towards various directions. It inspires me how the images connect with each other and how those connections create new associations and thoughts.
Questions around photography and visual arts in general interest me. I am also interested in people and our surroundings. How we depict them, how we have depicted them and how we can depict them?
Themes such as landscape, portraiture, time, identity and tradition are important for me.
My artistic work is based on existential philosophy I picked up already at a young age. I find it interesting to ponder questions such as “What is existence?” and “What is the position of a human being in the course of history?” To describe my artistic work, I would use the notions of time, memory, fate, and paradox.
My early work deals with subjective experiences, the presence and absence of love. I then moved on to examine the relation of the human figure and landscape and the artist’s gaze on the model.
I investigate relationships between art and science, culture and nature as well as ecological and ethical considerations. I ask what is my role in producing and interpreting that information.