The exhibition unveils different stages of author’s creative career, from the 1960s to the present day. His early work consists of black-and-white portraits which show certain influence of August Sander, Irving Penn and Richard Avedon that Aalto himself described as his “heroes”. Along with portrait genre Jussi Aalto was also keen on documentary images that were aligned with traditional aesthetics of reportage photography.

Later Aalto took up colour photography and has created numerous portraits imbued with original specificity of Finnish culture. He captures very different individuals, from simple country boys and townspeople to important politicians, famous actors and musicians. In Jussi Aalto’s work an image of Finland arises from snapshots of his contemporaries’ lives. It is deepened with a series picturing sculptures that opens to viewers historical dimension of the country’s past.

“Now, when looking back at my photography career, which started about 1962 (I became professional photographer in 1965), I see quite a logical development. In 1964 I joined the Helsinki Camera Club (Kameraseura), which then was the most important institution in Finnish photography. It published Kameralehti, the biggest photography magazine in Finland, and many of the best professional photographers working in Helsinki were its members. When “official” art photography started in Finland at the end of the 1960s, half of the photographers who got scholarships and state prizes and had exhibitions, were HCC members.

For a while (1969-1970) I was an assistant editor of the Kameralehti and was one of the four original photography teachers at the University of Industrial Arts, when it started in 1973. I was teaching mainly the history of photography and portrait photography. My first private exhibition (1973) was about snapshots, the next one (1977) about portraits, and these two braches were main subjects of my exhibitions till 1990s.

In the 1970s I was working mainly for ladies magazines, but in the 1980s gradually turned to advertising photography. The 1990s depression had big impact on advertising, and my company went bankrupt in 1996. In 2002 I finally lost my studio. In spite of financial problems I held smaller exhibitions on various themes in the 1990s and in 2002 two big retrospective exhibitions. The first one covered my themes since the 1960s to the present day. The second one was dedicated to portrait photography. Some of these themes along with new material are presented at ROSPHOTO.

In 1978 in Arles I participated in a Japanese photography workshop, where teachers were Shoji Ueda and Ikko Narahara. There I learned something about traditional Japanese concept of time and space, which fascinated me. I think it shows also in many of my photographs, but I’m not the right person to make such conclusions.

On November 28, 2008 I joined the Blipfoto community and from that day I have taken and sent a photo to the site every day. These Blipfotos serve me as “finger rehearsals” to keep my sensitivity for more important projects. But it has also helped me to seek and find beauty in everyday objects. And in those blips there are many buds to new themes, which will eventually develop into more important projects”.