Esko Juhani Kaarakka Biography

Esko Juhani Kaarakka




Esko Juhani Kaarakka was born in 1929 in Finland.  He studied at the University of Helsinki in 1950, where he learned drawing. After studying there for a year he moved to the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts, also in Helsinki, where he studied printmaking and painting between 1952-1956 and again in 1959-1960. After graduating from the Academy of Fine Arts Kaarakka was inspired to study abroad. Between 1958-59 he studied at the Karlsruhe University of Technology in Karlsruhe, Germany. He later studied scutpture in Copenhagen and Paris.

Esko Kaarakka joined the Young Graphic Artists group when their exhibitions began touring around Finland. The group was established by a few Finnish printmakers in 1954, and the first joint exhibition was held in the same year in May. During the next two years, the group managed to show in at least 12 locations. It was well received everywhere it travelled. Graphics started to become popular in Finland as a unique and economically advantageous form of art and Kaarakka continued to work in printmaking.

In 1968 Hopeapeili (Silver Mirror) a women’s magazine magazine each month  published a small portrait of the month and selected Kaarakka for one month. The commission invloved his writing about the process.To do the Silver Mirror story Kaarakka lived in Seinäjoki, but he was able work in Mikkeli and Haapavesi, both of which he worked in as a drawing teacher. The private life of the artist not well documented after his marriage to  Eve Sollan. The Finnish Printmakers archive collection box has three of his graphic work, all of which had been made while he still studied at the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts: Rooster 1954, the Trotters in 1955 and House Group in 1955. All are technically etchings. In addition to the Young Artists’ Exhibition (1961), Esko Kaarakka participated in the Finnish Artists' exhibition in 1962 and the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts triennial exhibition in 1965.

Esko Juhani Kaarakka died in Helsinki on October 28, 1970