A Visit To Artist Kustaa Saksi

Working in various mediums and techniques, Finnish artist Kustaa Saksi perpetually puts his abstract perspective on natural formations, astounding the viewer with intricate and often psychedelic creations.

In Spring 2017, for the third time Mumm will release the new limited edition of Art Bottles. This time, the German sparkling wine producer invited Kustaa Saksi to design the bottles for three different flavors Dry, Rosé dry & Extra Dry. We had a chance to talk to Saksi about his techniques, inspirations and the interpretation of the Mumm Art Edition.

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You’re a multidisciplinary artist. Which medium is your favorite one and why?

I’m a hybrid. I like to mix and match different mediums, techniques and materials. I’m specialized in graphic storytelling through pattern design, textile art and installation.

"However, at the moment I’m most inspired by textiles and their tactile and three dimensional nature."
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Could you tell more about the role of craftsmanship in your work?

For my tapestries and woven artworks I mainly use Jacquard weaving technique. I’m interested in combining traditional craftsmanship with digital possibilities. For example, I blend natural fibers like mohair, alpaca and wool with rubber, acrylic, lurex and phosphorescent yarn.

Your artworks are highly influenced by nature. Are there any specific landscapes or biological organisms that drive your imagination? Do you draw inspiration from personal experience, too?

I’m interested in nature’s various structures: repetitive forms, patterns and ornamentation. I keep my eyes open everywhere I go – whether I’m strolling on the streets or wandering in forests. In the end, you always notice something spectacular nature has been sculpting.

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What does abstraction mean to you?

The ideas of nature seen from the abstracted edge of perception characterize almost all of my work. I filter things I see to my own abstract, surreal world.

You come from Finland, but moved to live and work in Amsterdam. How would you describe the creative scene there?

I’ve been living in Amsterdam for almost nine years now and every now and then, the city still manages to surprise. It’s a very compact international village with a lot of things happening in the design scene. Also, it’s very conveniently located in the heart of Europe with a great airport hub that connects the world to itself.

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One of your latest project was the Mumm Art Bottle. Could you tell us more about this collaboration?

I was asked to create three bottle designs for Mumm’s Artist Series for 2017. I felt delighted as I knew Mumm provided premium-quality products. I used to work on patterns and designs for brands before, but I have never designed a bottle, so this new challenge felt exciting to me. When collaborating on the projects like this, however, I always dedicate myself to my own artwork.

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Could you walk us through the creative process standing behind this project?

As a Nordic designer, I tend to use shapes taken from nature as a starting point for my projects. I take inspiration from nature’s ornamentation and mathematical chaos, running deep into the shape and trying to understand its essence. Then, I simplify and convert it into my very own visual world. For Mumm, I studied the shapes of grapes and bubbles, which form extraordinary, rhythmic patterns, wrap around each other and are always moving. I created a continuous pattern for each flavor to tell the individual character of each wine. The colors give an idea of what to expect, weather it’s Dry, Extra Dry or Rosé. This is how I understand and see the abstraction of the flavor.

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–In collaboration with Mumm
All images © Stefan Haehnel, created exclusively for iGNANT.

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