Riikka Hyvönen

Acrylic on paper print 210g

H.75 x W.59,5 cm

H.89,5 x W.76 cm (with frame)


1982 Born in Rovaniemi (Finland). After working as a hairdresser and make-up artist, Rikka Hyvönen becomes the assistant of the artist Jani Leinonen.

2015 She holds a master's degree from the University of Fine Arts in Helsinki and a bachelor's degree in visual arts from Goldsmiths University in London.

2015 His exhibition Roller Derby Kisses is presented at the Finnish Institute in London.

2016 Two monographic exhibitions present his work at the Saariaho Järvenpää Gallery in Helsinki and at the Chabah Yelmani Gallery in Brussels.

Libération 2016

Il devrait te traiter comme une princesse (He should treat you like a princess)

By Riikka Hyvönen (1982, Finland)

"I have been working for several years on the bruises of Roller Derby players, which has earned me a lot of criticism. I have been accused of reducing the body to an object, stigmatizing the rounds, glamorizing violence against women... Sports injuries have nothing to do with sexist attacks! These bruises, which I also call "kisses", have the value of trophies of honor within the group; they are often photographed and shared on the Internet by the players. The choice of this front page was obvious, gender equality being a very important value for me, as it should be for everyone. But it took me a long time to decide what to do with it. Making a colorful and visually appealing painting on such a serious subject can seem contradictory and counterproductive. Of course, it is not about romanticizing domestic violence. But its stereotypical representation, often relayed by the media, is neither convincing nor effective. Victims of domestic violence are usually portrayed as weak and oppressed. Yet it is a situation that can affect all women, regardless of their character. I portrayed the perfect couple of Super Mario and Princess Peach, Nintendo mascots, to give a familiar face and a name to the blurred and anonymous figure on the original front page. Pop culture is my main source of inspiration, and I often associate it with a colorful and kitsch aesthetic, from which I divert the primary use. Here, the macabre bursts into the playful universe, with the bloody figure of the famous video game heroine. These characters are outside the newspaper, they only exist on the front page. Introducing reality through fiction refers to an often denied evidence: domestic violence is not imaginary. It is always current and concerns people we know. “You should treat her like a princess" the title is a nod to the world of video games, but it is also an injunction to be taken at face value. »