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Jaanus Samma. Photo: Alo Paistik

Daily Dozen with Estonian artist Jaanus Samma 0

Estonian artist and laureate of Köler Prize 2013, Jaanus Samma (1982), answers our twelve light-hearted questions. You can still visit the exhibition of Köler Prize nominees at the Museum of Contemporary Art of Estonia (EKKM), Tallinn, until June 16. 

The Chairman, a still life opera by Jaanus Samma 

1. What’s the best moment of your day?

Morning – the day is full of potential and everything is still yet to come.

2. Why do you work as an artist?

As an artist I have the possibility to create my own world that other people can be part of. I am idealistic about this, I really hope that my work touches/moves someone in a positive way.

3. Which films, concerts, exhibits, or books have left a lasting impression on you? 

Tolstoy’s “War and Peace” – for its grand scale, the El Greco paintings in Louvre – for their timeless aesthetics, that I feel is still relevant today, and the British cult classic “Whitnail and I” for its wits.

4. Where do you currently get ideas for your works? 

One can get ideas of course from everywhere. The recent most inspiring experiences would be visiting the jewellery section at the V&A museum in London, Diana Vreeland’s biography “D.V.” and the exhibition by the Danish artist Jacob Jessen in Tallinn this winter. 

5. Which work(s) of art would you like to have in your possession?

El Greco painting at my home would be nice.

The Chairman, a still life opera by Jaanus Samma 

6. What do you do when you’re not occupied with art?

I enjoy having coffee and cakes.

7. Do you sleep a lot?


8. Do you collect anything?

I have a small collection of art works. I try to change works with my friends whose work I love. But I also collect ribbons – different ribbons, some very fine and of good quality, some vintage, but I like also ribbons with camp look and with bizarre text or pictures on them.

9. What is one of the most important things in your studio?

Probably my computer. 

10. What do you like to eat, and what don’t you like?

Homemade things are the best.

The Chairman, a still life opera by Jaanus Samma 

11. When you were a kid, what did you want to be?

At the age of five I wanted to be a cannibal… still can’t remember why. But actually I was quite young when I decided to become an artist.

12. Name three creative individuals, from any era, with whom you’d gladly spend an evening.

Pop artist David Hockney in the 1960s, Cyriaque Gavillon, creator of the Opera cake, in the 1950s, and Robert Dumas-Hermès, who launched the famous series of Hermès scarves, in the 1920s.