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Kaido Ole. Photo: Agnija Grigule

Arterritory photo-stories on artists: Estonian artist Kaido Ole 0

Photos: Agnija Grigule 

Kaido Ole (1963) is one of the Estonia’s most prominent painters. Ole has been showing his work locally and internationally since 1989, and is a graduate of the Estonian Academy of the Arts, where he studied design and painting from 1982 to 1992. After graduating, Ole taught at the Academy (initially – drawing, and later – painting), eventually becoming a professor of the Painting department, a post he held for 7 years. Ole quit the academy in 2010 to focus on his career as an artist. visited Ole’s studio in Tallinn and posed the following three questions:

Describe a typical day in your studio.

I use my studio for different purposes. Sometimes it’s an art-making day, sometimes just a thinking-and-listening-to-music day; there are also friends-and-good-conversation days, or even only-thinking-and-writing-without-any-music days, and so on. Every type of day has its unique pattern and rhythm. In the most classic sense, if I need to work on my paintings, I like to start early in the morning, without any other activities or duties before studio-time. I wake up by at least 7 a.m., have breakfast and read the morning newspapers at home, then take the car and buy some food for lunch along the way; I like to be in my studio by at least 10 a.m. I usually already know what I have to do, and after a brief intro, I start working – with good music always on in the background. I try to finish by 8 p.m., leave for home, meet my family again, and then relax before sleep. Simple action movies are good with which to change the mood and switch off thinking. When I’m finally laying in bed, I usually read a book until the dreams gently begin to come.

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

My studio is one whole system, and everything in it is somehow important. It is teamwork done by details, a democracy instead of a kingdom. Briefly, the most important thing is the right environment itself – which is constantly in progress, as I try to be as well.

“What happens in the studio stays in the studio”. If you agree, how would you comment on this statement?

Actually, usually nothing very special happens there. Well, to be frank, I don’t control myself when working alone, and then I can really see and experience the whole scale of my character. Quite often, even very small problems can piss me off, and then I don’t like myself at all...