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Riikka Hyvönen Captures the Beauty of Bruises in Giant Artworks

Most of us flinch when we see a bad bruise. Finland born, Helsinki based artist Riikka Hyvönen sees an inspiring myriad of colors that tell a story. Her art combines hyperrealism painting with sculptural elements, pop and kitsch styles, taking the pain that we have all experienced at some point and making it strangely alluring. She calls bruises "kisses", specifically worn by roller derby girls, of which she collects photographs and then reinterprets into large-scale artworks.

Most of us flinch when we see a bad bruise. Finland born, Helsinki based artist Riikka Hyvönen sees an inspiring myriad of colors that tell a story. Her art combines hyperrealism painting with sculptural elements, pop and kitsch styles, taking the pain that we have all experienced at some point and making it strangely alluring. She calls bruises “kisses”, specifically worn by roller derby girls, of which she collects photographs and then reinterprets into large-scale artworks. In roller derby, players wear their bruises like a badge of honor, which are then posted and shared online. (Hyvönen’s titles are borrowed directly from their comments, emoji’s and all.) She shares, “I believe these images are charged with mental strength. They show that the player’s bodies can take the hits yet overcome the pain and still continue to play… Obviously, I am objectifying these women totally. But I am doing it exactly the way they objectify themselves: their big and strong bums are assets and to be carried with pride.”

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