National Obituary Review

Dead Person of the Day Oct. 3 – Hugo Kalervo Palsa

0 Comments 03 October 2011

Happy Monday out there in the obitosphere! Great DPD today. Sadly, I would have liked to have a legitimate obit to commemorate today’s DPD (as is per usual) but I felt like my brain was seeping out of my ears from looking at too many Finnish websites. In related news, if we have any Finnish speakers as readers the NOR is hiring. Without further ado todays DPD

Kalero Palsa

Hugo Kalervo Palsa (March 12, 1947 – October 3, 1987), or Kalle was a Finnish artist in a style that has been described as fantastic realism.

Long neglected, Kalervo Palsa has enjoyed a revival of sorts since the publication of critical works, a biography and two major retrospectives in Helsinki and Pori.

Life
His life evinced a good degree of northern madness. Among his local contemporaries of Kittilä in Lapland he had the reputation of a drunken artist masturbating at home and painting furiously.

He felt haunted both by his perverse urges and the provincial and narrow-minded mental perimeter of his northern hometown.

While he lived there, his abode was a tiny studio cabin which was closer to a shack than a house. He wired it for electricity by drawing a long extension cable from nearby house. He called it his “Getsemane” after the biblical site, or sometimes his “castle in the clouds”.

Upon his death two rumors spread among the local populace. One that he had in a drunken stupor collapsed into a snowbank, and died from exposure. The other that he had hung himself. The latter was more understandable, since several of his self-portraits featured a hangmans noose around his neck, and several other of his paintings also used the symbology of hanging. Continue

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