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Joonas Kota (b.1976) is a visual artist living and working in Helsinki. He graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Helsinki in 2003.

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. The abstracted forests turn into virtualized sceneries, the delicately layered diamonds reflects fractions of the world around you without revealing its core and the Emoji icons have become faded memories of their virtual existence when taken out of their context.

Kota’s working process often consists of three parts: The symbolic reality, reality in itself and the transcendental. At its best the viewer’s thoughts moves effortlessly between these three dimensions.

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
1996 Orivesi college
1995 The High School diploma, Tampere
2018 #Partypopper, Zetterberg gallery, Helsinki
2017 Virtualized Sceneries, Zetterberg gallery, Helsinki
2011 Diallectic Illicid Cell Aid, Joonas Kota / Erkka Nissinen, Kluuvi Gallery, Helsinki
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 School of Fine Arts, London
2018 Summer 2018, Zetterberg gallery, Helsinki
2018 Paradise is Now, Palm Trees in Art, Robert Grunenberg/Salon Dahlmann, Berlin
2018 Teachers and Students, Exhibition Laboratory, Helsinki
2017 Attempting Ideal, Salon Dahlmann, Berlin
2016 Enslaved or Free, Zetterberg gallery, Helsinki
2009 Dialogues Biennale, Manege, St-Petersburg, Russia
2008 Made in Kuvataideakatemia, Kaiku gallery, Helsinki
2006 Serendipity,1A Space, Hong Kong, China
2006 Songs of Freedom and Love, K2, Izmir, Turkey
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 Academy of Fine Arts’ gallery
1998 11 and 33 Influencers, Joonas Kota / Jani Leinonen, Käytävä!, Helsinki
2018 E.W. Ponkala Foundation
2017 Kiasma, Museum of Contemporary Art in Helsinki
2016 Miettinen Collection
2003 The Art Collection of Päivi and Paavo Lipponen
2002 Helsinki City Art Museum
1998 Nelimarkka Foundation
2017 Alfred Kordelin foundation
2017 Finnish Cultural Foundation
2016 Taike
2010 Majaoja Foundation
2006 Finnish Cultural Foundation
2006 Avek
2005 Finnish Cultural Foundation
2005 Kunststyrelsen, Denmark
2004 Frame-Fund
1998 Nelimarkka Foundation
2019 #Joonaskota, Dr. Sam Inkinen
2018 Paradise is Now | Palm Trees in Art, texts by Bret Easton Ellis, Robert Grunenberg, Leif Randt and Norman Rosenthal
2017 Helsinki Art Guide: Worlds colliding in Joonas Kotas Virtualized Sceneries
2008 Made in Kuvataideakatemia, exhibition katalogue
2006 Serendipity, exhibition katalogue
2005 Joonas Kota. Strategies of Seduction – Self-image under presssure.
2017 a full membership in the Finnish Painters Union
2012 a candidate membership in the Finnish Painters Union



Joonas Kota: #Partypopper, Zetterberg Gallery, Helsinki, November 30 – December 16, 2018.

Diallectic Illicit Cell Aid

Joonas Kota & Erkka Nissinen: Diallectic Illicit Cell Aid, Kluuvi Gallery, Helsinki, September 6 – 21, 2011

Attempting Ideal

Attempting Ideal – Emerging Artists From Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki. Works from the Lipponen Collection. Salon Dahlman, Berlin, June 9 – September 26, 2017. Artists: Ville Andersson, Alma Heikkilä, Hannaleena Heiska, Mikko Hintz, Alge Julija Kavaliauskaite, Joonas Kota, Robin Lindqvist, Nabb+Teeri, Tiina Palmu, Olli Piippo, Tiina Pyykkinen, Kaarlo Stauffer, Iiu Susiraja, Jenni Toikka

Virtualized Sceneries

Joonas Kota: Virtualized Sceneries, Zetterberg Gallery, Helsinki, January 27 – February 19, 2017.

Paradise is Now | Palm Trees in Art

Paradice Is Now: Palm Trees in Art, Robert Grunenberg gallery & Salon Dahlmann, Berlin, April 26 – june 30, 2018. Artists: John Baldessari, Juliette Blightman, Marcel Broodthaers, Rodney Graham, Secundino Hernández, Gregor Hildebrandt, David Hockney, Stefan Knauf, Joonas Kota, Alicja Kwade, Talisa Lallai, Mevlana Lipp, Sarah Ortmeyer, Wolfgang Ploeger, Sigmar Polke, Bruno V. Roels, Ed Ruscha, Raf Simons, Yutaka Sone & Rirkrit Tiravanija, Simon Speiser, Henning Strassburger, Vivian Suter, Barthélémy Toguo

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Dr. Sam Inkinen


Dialogi työhuoneella eli havaintoja taiteesta ja taiteilijasta – avainteemoina postmoderni, metamoderni ja Internet-ajan henki

Our societies are increasingly structured around a bipolar opposition between the Net and the Self.
– sosiologi Manuel Castells (The Rise of the Network Society, 1996)
Pian kirjat lukevat sinua, kun sinä luet niitä. […] Lopulta saatamme olla pisteessä, jossa on mahdotonta kytkeytyä hetkeksikään irti tästä kaikkitietävästä verkostosta. Irrottautuminen merkitsee kuolemaa.
– historioitsija, filosofi Yuval Noah Harari (Homo Deus. Huomisen lyhyt historia)

Bret Easton Ellis, Robert Grunenberg, Leif Randt and Norman Rosenthal

Paradise is Now: Palm Trees in Art

Hedonism, escapism, exoticism – across continents, religions and cultures, no other motif conveys these associations more convincingly than the palm tree. The group exhibition “Paradise is Now. Palm Trees in Art” examines the existence of a modern paradise and delves into the complex iconographic spectrum of a prominent floral symbol. What is behind the popularity of this emblem and what layers of meaning and contradictions are revealed in the process of artistic engagement?
Alexandra Marila

Worlds Colliding in Joonas Kota’s Virtualized Sceneries

”No matter which series they belong to, Kota’s works have one distinctive element in common: light. A light that sets free overcast skies in gloomy landscapes, that breaks the hard surface of gemstones and pierces through heavy masses of black. It shines victory on the other side and – if only for a brief moment – it might indulge us to catch sight of the divine.”
– Alexandra Marila