Joonas Kota

Joonas Kota (b.1976) lives and works in Helsinki. He graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Helsinki 2003. Kota’s works are oil paintings and sculptures. He is represented by Zetterberg Gallery in Helsinki.

Kota’s works examine the ways by which we look at the world. His works create parallel realities and drifts between the fragility of the captured moment and timelessness. The abstracted forests turn into virtualised sceneries, the delicately layered diamonds reflect fractions of the world around you without revealing its core. The Emoji icons have become faded memories of their virtual existence when taken out of their original context.

Kota describes his work as often consisting of three dimensions: symbolic reality, reality-in-itself and the transcendentality. At its best, the viewer’s thoughts move between these three dimensions.

His latest exhibition was the ”Virtualized Sceneries” in the Zetterberg gallery. He has had group and solo exhibitions internationally, of which the most important are: ”The Illicid Cell Aid” in the Kluuvi gallery, Helsinki 2011, ”Paintings” in the Huuto gallery, Helsinki 2010, ”Dialogues” in the Manege, Saint-Petersburg 2009, ”Serendipity” Hong Kong 2006, ”Songs of Freedom and Love” Platform Garanti, Istanbul 2006, ”Flaw” Barcelona 2005.

Kota’s works have been placed in private and public collections such as the Finnish National Gallery Kiasma and the Helsinki City Art Museum.


2003 Master of Fine Arts, The Academy of Fine Arts, Helsinki
2001 The Slade School of Fine Arts, London
1995 The High School diploma, Tampere

2017 ”Virtualized Sceneries”, Zetterberg gallery, Helsinki
2011 ”Diallectic Illicit Cell Aid”, Helsinki City Art Museums Gallery
2011 ”Paintings”, Gallery Huuto, Helsinki
2005 ”Flaw”, Gallery Serilla, Barcelona, Spain
2004 ”Trailers”, Helsinki City Art Museums Gallery
2003 “Highlight”, The Academy of Fine Arts’ gallery
2001 “Pretending Is Honest”, The Slade, London

2017 ”Attempting Ideal”, Lipponen Collection at Salon Dahlmann, Berlin
2016 ”Enslaved or Free”, Zetterberg gallery, Helsinki
2009 ”Dialogues Biennale”, Manege, St-Petersburg, Russia
2008 ”Made in Kuvataideakatemia”, gallery Kaiku, Helsinki
2006 “Serendipity”,1A Space, Hong Kong, China
2006 “Songs of Freedom and Love”, Platform Garanti,Istanbul
2004 “The Measure of a Man”, Helsinki City Art Museum
2002 “The Degree Show”, The Academy of Fine Arts
2000 “Riiko Sakkinen, Bad Milk”, The Academys gallery
1998 “11 and 33 Influencers”, with Jani Leinonen, Helsinki

2017 Finnish Cultural Foundation
2016 Taike
2011 Majaoja Foundation
2006 Finnish Cultural Foundation
2006 Avek
2006 Kunststyrelsen, Denmark
2005 Finnish Cultural Foundation
2004 Frame-Fund

2017 Kiasma, Museum of Contemporary Art in Helsinki
2016 Miettinen Collection
2008 Deposition. Museum of Contemporary Art, Kiasma
-The Art Collection of Päivi and Paavo Lipponen
2002 Helsinki City Art Museum
1998 Nelimarkka Foundation

Attempting Ideal, Emerging Artist from Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki, 2017
Joonas Kota. Strategies of Seduction – Self-image under presssure.
Serendipity, exhibition catalogue
Made in Kuvataideakatemia, exhibition catalogue

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Attempting Ideal

Lipponen Collection at Salon Dahlmann. Artists: Ville Andersson, Alma Heikkilä, Hannaleena Heiska, Karoliina Hellberg, Alge Julia Kavalaiskaite, Joonas Kota, Robin Lindqvist, Tiina Palmu, Olli Piippo, Tiina Pyykkinen, Timo Ryhänen, Jenni Toikka a.o.


Virtualized Sceneries

Joonas Kota’s first solo exhibition at Zetterberg Gallery – Virtualized Sceneries presents the artist’s latest work through three new work series: Transcendent Diamonds, Broken Forests and Degradable Emoji icons. Kota’s works examine the ways by which we look at the world. His works creates parallel realities and drifts between the fragility of the captured moment and timelessness.


Enslaved or Free?

“None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free” –Goethe. Artists Jani Leinonen, Jiri Geller, Aurora Reinhard, Mari Keto, Sampsa, Joonas Kota. Zetterberg Gallery January 29 – March 6, 2016

Diallectic Illicit Cell Aid

Erkka Nissinen & Joonas Kota / Diallectic Illicit Cell Aid. Exhibition, Kluuvi gallery, Helsinki, August 6 – 21, 2011. Painting installation and video work.

Diamond oil paintings


oil paintings


emoji art work




Joonas Kota studio