Toiset Kengät (Antero-Trilogia)

Hannu Väisänen


Book, 17.8 x 10.9 cm cm, 367 p, language: Finnish, publisher: Otava - Helsingissä Kustannusosakeyhtiö, Helsinki, ISBN : 978-951-1-22639-0.
Materials: ink, paper

Collection: Collection M HKA, Antwerp (Inv. no. B 2030/182).

Literary synopsis

In Toiset Kengät (The Other Shoes), teenage wannabe artist Antero manages to escape his grey northern hometown of Oulu; he is heading for the eastern Finnish town of Savonlinna, where he will go to art college. Triumphantly Antero dyes his blond hair black in the bus station toilet. Redolent with 1960s nostalgia, this is a sensual description of Antero’s steps to adulthood, and a welcome follow-up to the writer’s acclaimed autobiographical first novel Pieces of Crispbread. Antero’s family moves from the barracks to a house on a perfectly ordinary street. Antero dreams of suede shoes and hipsters, experiences his first distant unrequited love affairs and attacks of angst at situations where he is expected to behave like a man. Out of a motley collection of experiences and whirling emotions he also begins to see his real vocation taking shape: Antero applies and is accepted into arts school, and turns his back on his home town.

Relation of the novel to the artist’s practice

"In my paintings, I’m using more and more unmixed colors – that is, colors straight from the tube. It feels as if, after writing – which I always experience as black-and-white – I need to paint in pure primary colours. What a lot a large yellow surface can say! (…) The basic difference between writing about colours and painting with them is, I suppose, that in painting a colour refers only to itself, without references. Within sentences, a colour, however, is accurately described, appears like a symbol, within the framework of the agreements of language."

Hannu Väisänen

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