Antti Friman aka Frimantti is an artist and a poet from Helsinki, Finland. Antti creates very complex and intricate digital art full of symbolism about life and death and everything in between and beyond. There are creatures with their natural instincts and expanses of time and space. Antti is trying his best to draw our attention to contradictions and paradoxes. There is duality and there is oneness. The opposites attract and repel in his images and at the same time they complement each other. His art can be interpreted and understood at various levels but one thing is certain that it is very pleasing and appealing with its bold subjects and lavish style. A ‘detail’ image follows with each his art image and a few of the prose poems of Antti are given at the end of the post. Here’s our Q&A with Anti Friman:
Hi! My name is Antti Friman / Frimantti. I was born in Virgo Supercluster, Milky Way, Earth, Europe, Finland, Helsinki, where I live at the moment. To be exact, my house is right here: 60°10`50.28″N, 24°57`05.47″E.
I studied in Gerrit rietveld Academie in Amsterdam for a brief span of time. There I realized that my path demanded free and non-categorized learning patterns. Let`s just say that the everyday wonder of life is my school and every person, either a critic or an admirer is my teacher.
I could describe myself as an artist, but that term has kind of lost its mystical power, so now I call myself simply as “Contributor Of Omni-scientific Life”. As for me, every medium that helps to achieve the required result should be used: music, writing, painting and so on. We, the people have skills for many mediums and areas once we open the possibility for desired talent. We don’t have to be technical wizards. Imagination and intent is much more important. Technique will follow.
Perhaps my journey in art first started by imitating my big brother, who was doing arts when I was just a young kid. The joy and marvel of creation then took me over. Life is so rewarding when you open your eyes to it.
What does your art mean to you? Do you have an artist statement?
To say it bluntly- everything. What I am doing is my purpose for being here. In fact, my whole life is projection of an art piece that is, yours truly. We are all masterpieces!
All my artworks have special space and place in the world of creation that cannot be categorized as better or worse. Why does a musician say music is the greatest form of art; poet says it is poetry or a philosopher says the highest truth lies in philosophy? They do so not just because they are ill informed by saying that. All comes from the same force. World would be equally horrible if music or visual arts were missing.
But now that you asked: as for visual arts, it has this different vibration for mind and body than music for example. More subtle and passive. It is not as primitive as music. I’m not sure if this makes any sense, it’s quite difficult to explain. Let the people have it experienced themselves.
I think of an artwork like a persona as such. Let me illustrate: a person who can juggle with three balls can be comfortable with that level of athleticism, but when life goes on, the level of awareness grows and a person starts to see a possibility to do the same with five balls and so on.
What does this mean then? As your intellect and knowledge of harmony, mastery of different art forms grow, new meaningful possibilities can be seen that were hidden earlier. This means that some of my artworks are result of many years in the making. And maybe none of them is fully finished, or never will be. Also, I often work simultaneously with three, four, five different works, jumping from one dimension to another.
Much of your art is very complex, not just in form and theme. There’s so much to see and understand at many levels in your art images. At the same time it is incredibly beautiful and symbolic. What do you feel is the core idea behind all your artwork? How do you discover your inner voices?
That’s an interesting question. I have thought about it and have come to the conclusion- it derives from paradoxical fact of existence. As we know, in the end all is one, but in order to realize this, one has to divide itself into two extremes and see their ever evolving relations, values. Thus the concept of life we know is born. Positive / negative, cold / warm, zero / infinity, man / woman, truth / false, light / darkness etc. Out from these dualistic nuances life takes shape, and all are in thank for their opposite forces to be existing in the first place.
This notion confirms the oneness. On the surface everything seems so independent and separate, but in closer examination everything is in constant symbiosis like one big living organism. For being as primitive as I am, it takes a lot of time to compute this kind of information. I process it also in my works. And because I feel it is fundamental for everybody to start thinking these issues for the betterment of the humankind, I make art that promotes the growth of this kind of mindset.
The constant theme is in effect that of occult. Let me clarify. There is nothing dark or sinister in the word occult. It simply means hidden. I am fascinated about the hidden information of life. There is so much to learn. And why something should be hidden? Why should there be manipulation and for whom? People should be curious, walk with open minds and without prejudice. Answer questions, question answers.
Tell us about creative hurdles and challenges that you often come across:
There are many. The biggest one is being a dumbass. I should now concentrate more in the field of marketing, promoting or something of that nature. I don`t even know the proper word for that. And better people skills won’t do no harm either. I think I need an assistant…
How did you develop a unique and distinguishable style of your own?
Apparently I analize more deeply than most of the people 😉 Aesthetics in nature is not random. It is pure information. A hornet does not have those yellow stripes for fun. It is informative pattern for the surroundings. And needless to say, it also looks pretty damn impressive. Understanding this, is what I try to create informative artwork as aesthetically as I can. There’s also a very important point for individual to consider- believe in what you are doing. Of course every real artist needs that healthy spark of narcissist in order to believe in his/hers own style over others.
Artworks you see now are digital art. I have printed them in photorag matte paper and painted with pastels on top of that. There are different options how to finish an artwork. I have also tried laser cutting for example. It is interesting way to present your work in more 3-d. New techniques and affordability makes it possible soon to create in a whole new level. Most important thing for me is to complete artworks in digital realm. Then the proper ways of manufacturing will follow.
What have been your achievements? Your clients?
I offer my work to various independent art collectors. My biggest single collection is in one of the largest Finnish art collections HOK-Elantos art collection… 6 artworks.
What are your views on contemporary art?
It is in a state of rebirth. Contemporary art has freed the concept of “what is art”. This in contrast is going to create again a perspective for art that has more value than others. It is interesting to see where art will go. I think in the future art will start to go more outside from the museums and closer to people. When materials and different manufacturing processes become easily affordable by the knowledge of technology, new freedom of creation will be born.
What are your future plans, projects and ambitions?
Plans are and always will be in constant flux. Once theirs is something in priority and some other time it is not. In essence, there are many plans. It’s getting somewhat chaotic right now. Time will clarify. I truly hope I have enough time to fulfil at least 33% of them.
Tell us about your sources of inspiration and motivation:
My source of inspiration remains hidden from me for now. Sometimes the feeling of being a vessel for this life energy is overwhelming and sometimes I give credit to myself. Right answer lies in the middle of course. I have so many favorite artists that I cannot give name credit for some and leave others named.
Motivation is self evident when the right reason for any action is discovered. Sometimes in order to get motivated, you need to get to the lower vibrations. Like this the perspective is fresh again in your mind.
Also the goals that you have in your mind rarely manifest the way you have planned in your imagination. Have long term goals with no specifics, only the main frame in mind. And learn to say: “It happens…”
Some prose poems of Antti Friman:
1. Esthetics. People debate over it, making remarks what is the norm, the trend and what is not. Only to discover what was yesterday’s finest is tomorrow’s declaration of awfulness. Seagulls keep on singing the same tune in their grayness for centuries to come. So after all; it’s such a bliss to be born with colour and multiple tones.
2. People seek answers, more questions and pleasures for their senses. And that is what art is supposed to deliver.
3. Moments of incomprehensible complexity make you eventually born into them as supreme simplicity: Like a flower in a bowl, instead of a lost flower somewhere in the endless fields.
4. This is how we learn: fail, succeed, fail, succeed, fail, succeed, fail, and succeed and so on. This simple recipe of failure and success in ever new omnipotent ratio builds us towards the whole what we essentially are; an awaken human being.