Work / Art

Liisa Kruusmägi’s deliciously rich, layered artworks

Estonian artist Liisa Kruusmägi’s work is textured not only stylistically, but in content too. Her work appears rich with a flavoursome colour palette represented by layer upon layer of thick brushstrokes or pencil marks. Whether Liisa is depicting detailed interiors or characterful personalities the artist explains she has a simple aim to give the audience "a good laugh or just a good expression”.

After graduating from her masters in fine art from the Estonian Academy of Arts in 2013, Liisa has since taken the freelance artistic route. This career decision has given Liisa the freedom to dip her toes in an enthusiastic range of creative pursuits: exhibitions, illustrational projects, collaborative work, animations, performances or sculptures. This wealth of practices is influenced by her various travels. “I am travelling a lot," Liisa explains. “It gives me the power to do new things.” This includes residencies in two very different cities. “One residency was at the James Black Gallery in Vancouver, the other was at AIRY based in the small town of Kofu, Japan. It was a big culture shock to me, totally different from all that I have experienced before! I also lived in Chicago for a month participating in a friend’s performances and visited my sister in Indonesia. I think all of those travels are somehow in each of my new artworks.”

Liisa remains to regularly practice within the realms of drawing and painting, two mediums she identifies with the most. “Painting gives a strange feeling to me. Working with colours and how they work together is powerful," the artist explains. "Drawing is more of a fast expression, I usually like to draw on quite a small scale. I love colour, different pens and pencils or makers.”

However the artist plans to combine her numerous practices in an installation as part of an exhibition at Vaal gallery in Tallinn in February. The exhibition will explore “fears, disgust and uncomfortable moments. I have a little bit on dark topics but I like to depict them in more of a funny way. As in life, drama and comedy always come together”.


Liisa Kruusmägi: House Party


Liisa Kruusmägi: Philosophy


Liisa Kruusmägi: Interview


Liisa Kruusmägi: Pacific Ave


Liisa Kruusmägi: Rainy Day


Liisa Kruusmägi: Empty Pool


Liisa Kruusmägi: Hairy Face


Liisa Kruusmägi: Bored