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Kalle Lampela


Korundi House of Culture
Lapinkävijäntie 4
Open Tue-Wed, Fri-Sun 11-18, Thu 11-20


Only five percent of Finns find portraits the most likeable when choosing from different types of visual arts. On the other hand, only five percent of the Finns find portraits the least likeable. Thus, Finns are not especially interested in portraits, though they do not dislike them either. Nevertheless, portraits are found more attractive if one can choose one’s family to be portrayed. The statistics do not tell everything about the human interest towards the face of her fellow species. In addition to cultural factors, the innate biological factors are influential in the attraction of portraits and especially in the attraction of a human face imagery in general. As evolutionary psychologist, cognitive scientist Nancy Etcoff from Harvard Medical School writes, “nothing captures our attention like a human face, and nothing rivals the face in communicative power.” So, unsurprisingly, by far the most popular type of “portrait” is nowadays the selfie.

Throughout history, portrait artists have improved their skills by capturing the features of their close relatives and loved ones. Artist Kalle Lampela does not make deviation to the rule. A self-portrait and portraits of his son, of his mother, of his father and of his grandfather are exhibited in the Artist of the month -exhibition. The technique used is coloured pencil on cardboard and pencil on paper.

Lampela applies a photorealistic method in his portraits. He uses a digital camera to gather information. Then he looks at the digital photograph in the computer screen. He also uses a projection to transfer the information to the cardboard or the paper. He links the old realist portrait tradition to the possibilities of digital age.

Lampela also makes portraits to order. His latest commission, the portrait of the retired chairman of the University of Lapland Board Raimo Väyrynen was revealed in December 2017 in the University of Lapland campus. In addition to public commissions, Lampela makes portraits of private individuals – also children – to order.

Kalle Lampela works as a university lecturer in visual arts at the Faculty of Art and Design at the University of Lapland.


Kalle Lampela: 040 4844229 |

Work: Grandfather. 2017. Colored pencil on cardboard.