Known for his massive oil paintings and intense themes – including biblical motifs, self-portraits and floral still-life compositions – Heikki Marila (b. 1966, Finland) is a leading figure on the Finnish contemporary art scene. His expressive paintings are laden with paradoxical drama: they play with contrasts, combining the spiritual, beautiful and sublime with the carnal, corporeal and repulsive. His paintings possess a powerfully physical materiality, which is heightened by an ongoing dialogue between figurative and non-figurative elements and by his thickly applied layers of oil paint. Marila captures the intensity of 17th century painting traditions, which he reinterprets through the lens of contemporary social and visual themes.
Marila has exhibited widely around Finland, the Nordic countries and Europe. His works are represented in numerous notable collections, including the Sara Hildén Art Museum, the Wäinö Aaltonen Museum of Art and the Jenny and Antti Wihuri Foundation Art Collection. He is the winner of the 2012 Carnegie Art Award. The artist lives and works in Turku.