The spirituality of imperfection

August Künnapu moves around in the art field so that his feet are barely touching the ground. His glance is clear, revealing the joy and confidence of a four-year-old. To technology and machine he prefers the human body and hand. He believes that a body contains the knowledge of the universe, and a sensitive hand as a magic instrument takes information to the work of art. August also believes that a hand takes away diseases. He regards painting as the mother of all arts – it was so in the Stone Age, and it is so today.

August’s style is surprisingly original. The artist’s doctors, sportsmen, cats, old buses and nuns are recorded in a geometrical code still unlocked by us. An ability to generalise achieves clarity, which resembles an experience of cleansing ceremony.

A few gouache paintings of August Künnapu from his children’s art school days have survived. They already exhibit unexpected colour combinations and the mysterious something that makes his pictures unique. August’s first acrylic paintings exude fascination that talented people feel when they take up painting. The freedom of their pictures is enviable. The works of these years can be called August’s expressionism. As years pass, his work develops maturity based on images. The pictures are simultaneously precise and irrational. The artist has created a kind of cubism typical only of him. Picasso’s ability was to touch the essence of people and things via his various methods. He did that through cubist constructions, realistic painting and semi-abstract images. Half a century later Künnapu is doing more or less the same, although his search is not so blurred, he seems to pursue the same thing throughout. Looking at August Künnapu’s paintings we find endless mistakes of all manner in his details, both concerning drawing and painting. Everything put together, however, is correct and essential. This is the spirituality of imperfection.

August knows that there is no matter in reality, everything is illusion. Being aware of this, his works achieve an even greater lightness. Illusion paints illusion. August’s paintings reflect a new spirit of the time, where everything becomes more spiritual, positive and playful. Maybe he is indeed a harbinger of a new era?



Published in August Künnapu’s book of paintings “The River of Life” (2013)