Best Finnish Art Book 2022  – Honorable Mention

On the cover of the glossy book, a young man walks in the water and looks intently into the camera. It is not a pose, but a real-looking snapshot that makes the viewer look at its details. This is exactly what photographer Tero Puha strives for. He doesn’t use professional models in his photos, because he wants to make his subjects forget the existence of the camera. In his pictures, Puha studies the behavior of light on male bodies.

The pictures in the work feature, among others, five men that Tero Puha has photographed at different times, 20 years ago and now. The oldest pictures are from 1994 and the newest from 2021. Many of the pictures are presented in the work as a series of two or three pictures, and the viewer can form a dialogue or a story in their mind.

The passage of time can be seen not only in the appearance of the models, but also in the development of the photographer, which increases the interest of the work. In his newer pictures, Puha focuses even more on the expressions, personality and small details of the subject, instead of bold shapes and sculpturalness. He also bravely puts himself under scrutiny: At the end of the book, two self-portraits from 2002 and 2021 are shown.

The photos are printed on thick, matte glossy cardboard, which creates a luxurious feel to the work. The book, designed by graphic artist Ville Karppinen, also has a few literally skillful tricks that set it apart from many other photo books. The book’s cover and spine conveniently open to the side, and the bound part found inside is only attached to the back cover, which makes browsing the large book much easier. In addition, towards the end of the work, the reader will be delighted by the four-page-wide picture, which has been discreetly folded at the edges inside the work.

Tero Puha’s world of thought is presented at the beginning of the work in an interview with Antti Kauppinen, curator of the Helsinki Art Museum Ham. Among the pictures, there are also three poems by the poet Juhani Brander. They work well within the world of the photos. RIIKKA HAPPONEN

Intimate Light (Signed Copy)

Book of Photography Signed by Tero Puha Publisher: Parvs Publishing 2022 ISBN 978-952-7441-14-5

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