Juuso Westerlund (b .1975, Finland ) studied photography in the University of Art and Design Helsinki and Turku Arts Academy. Many of Juuso’s personal subjects deal with Finnish identity. He is fascinated by ordinary men living ordinary lives, doing or at least dreaming about something extraordinary. At the moment he is working with projects about his family and Kalevala, The Finnish national epic. Juuso shoots a mix of personal work and commissioned work for editorial and commercial clients both home and abroad. His work has appeared in e.g. Le Monde M Magazine, Financial Times, VICE, Slate and New York Times. He has been awarded both in Finland and abroad. Juuso is based in Helsinki.
“In Between is an allegory of a man’s longing for childhood and adolescence as he’s nearing middle age. It is about the longing for innocent, care fee and adventurous times. My work tells about growing up and growing old, and about being a father and a man.
In this project I photographed a group of friends that is comprised of men of my age. They call themselves the Trash Gang. I also photographed my two sons and my 91-year old grandfather who just recently passed away. The men are shown in bleak portraits at their own environments, while my children are represented in an overly aestheticized way, having adventures in the forest like characters in a book of fairy tales.
I photographed my friends because their portraits become also potential self-portraits of myself, or indeed, portraits of any Finnish man nearing middle age.
My own sons I photographed mostly in the same surroundings where I used to play with the Trash Gang when we were kids. These are like images from a dreamworld. Colored memories of a childhood where you didn’t worry about the future.
The In Between series is a part of a larger work that deals with men, and which I still continue to work on.”
To view more of Juuso’s work please visit his website.