Riikka Hyvönen celebrates bruises on women’s body. Women that are rollerskating in a high level competition called ‘roller derby’. It’s an aggressive game which ends up marking the contestants for quite a long time; or at least until they heal. The artist uses hyperrealism to depict the bruises, which she calls ‘kisses’, as a trophy, a victory over the pain they are going through during a competition.
Hyperrealism is a method which consists of painting on a large scale canvas a reproduction of a photograph.Rikka Hyvönen collects photographs of the roller derby girls and chooses the bruises she considers being the most interesting. Not necessarily the biggest ones though.
The bruise on the cheek is the focus of the painting. The whole image is kitsch, pop and above all real. The different colors of a bruise are painstakingly detailed, from yellowish to grayish.
The violence we associate to bruises are the symbol of the strength defining women. They symbolize the capacity of a woman in life in general to fall and get back up again. Rikka Hyvönen is saying, through her paintings that any mark due to a battle needs to be claimed and worn with pride. “I believe these images are charged with mental strength. They show that the player’s bodies can take the hits yet overcome the pain and still continue to play… Obviously, I am objectifying these women totally. But I am doing it exactly the way they objectify themselves: their big and strong bums are assets and to be carried with pride.” (via Hi Fructose)