Aurora Reinhard (1975) is a visual artist from Helsinki, Finland. She works with video, self-portraits and multidimensional, hyper-realistic objects fetishizing the everyday. There is a strong female aspect in all of her work and she’s using often her own body as the material for her works.
She holds MFA degree from the Academy of Fine Arts, Helsinki (2003). Her works have been shown internationally, including exhibitions at the German Historical Museum, Berlin, The Shedhalle, Zürich, Fridericianum, Kassel, Ludwig Museum, Cologne and Platform Garanti, Istanbul. Her experimental documentary Boygirl won the International Media Art Award in 2002 given out by ZKM Centre for Art and Media Karlsruhe, Germany.

Latest works

Among Aurora Reinhard’s latest works is Martyr (2018) – a white plaster sculpture, nearly a half-metre high, of a naked woman whose body is pierced by three golden arrows. The work is a kind of self-portrait: it is based on a 3D scan of the artist’s own body, and the arrows refer to romantic encounters that have touched her deeply.

Reinhard seeks the subjects for her works in media and advertising imagery, and in the history of western art. She, nevertheless, interprets the images she finds through her own personal experiences, frequently switching the gender or direction of a gaze. The background to this work is the figure of Saint Sebastian, familiar from Renaissance art: an officer in the Roman army and a Christian, he lived in the 3rd century AD and miraculously survived his “martyrdom” and, judging by some of the paintings of him, does not even appear to have suffered very much.

By replacing the male saint with her own body, Reinhard brings this almost two millennia-year-old-story into the present. She gives it not only a personal, but also a universally comprehensible significance, associated not with divine relations but with those between human beings. She has been called a “life explorer” and the power of emotional relationships between women and men has long been a topic of her art. Conversely, she has also dealt – often very directly – with various issues involved in the pictorial representation of sexuality and gender identity. In so doing she has also put herself on the line, seeking answers both in front of the camera and behind it. Either disguised or, as in her recent works, without a mask, she herself is the model for her own works.

Recurrent themes include an almost systematic and frequently provocative critique of one dimensional, idealized images of women. The female figures in her photographic works wear excessive amounts of make up and dress in a manner that evokes the imagery of pornography. This exaggeration is, nevertheless, so obvious and her means of constructing these illusions so transparent that the works’ real message cannot go unrecognized.

One thing that it is impossible to ignore when faced with Reinhard’s photographs and sculptures is how perfect they are. It is as though they are self generated or have fallen from heaven, even when they are cracked, as in her plaster sculpture Broken (2017). Such works are reminiscent of (and also occasionally imitate) industrially manufactured luxury products. And yet the immaculateness of Reinhard’s works is not an end in itself. It is overdone and serves the same goal as the excessive make-up and costumes in her photographs. She exposes the mind’s covert hopes and desires while, at the same time, revealing the mirage-like character of the impulses that fuel them.

Timo Valjakka, Translation Mike Garner


2002 International Centre For Photography, New York

1995-2003 Academy of Fine Arts, Helsinki Finland

1998 Gothenburg University, Department of film and photography, Sweden


2019 Wihuri Foundation Residency, Rovaniemi Finland

2009 Grönqvistska Foundation, Finland

2002 International Media Art Award 2002 ZKM Karlsruhe, Germany


“To Perniö and back 1863-2020, Perniö Museum, Finland

Public Collections

Aine Art Museum, Tornio, Finland

German Historical Museum, Berlin (Deutsche Historisches Museum, DHM)

ZKM, Karlsruhe, Germany

Amos Anderson Art Museum, Finland

Contemporary Art Museum Kiasma, Finland

State Art Collection Finland

Helsinki City Art Museum, Finland

Oulu City Art Museum, Finland

Saastmoinen Foundation, Finland

Heino Foundation, Finland

Finnish Art Society, Finland

Niemistö Collection, Hämeenlinna Art Museum, Finland

Serlachius Museum, Mänttä, Finland

Swanljung Art Collection/Modern Arts Museum Kuntsi Vaasa, Finland

Jenny & Antti Wihuri Foundation, Finland

Wäinö Aaltonen Museum, Turku, Finland

Solo shows

2021-2022 Neverfull, Turku Art Museum Studio, Finland

2020 Martyr, Aine Art Museum, Torinio Finland

2019 Venus, Valo Galllery, Arcticum, Rovaniemi

2019 High Rider, Muyun Art & Culture Foundation, Beijing

2018 Solo Show Zetterberg Gallery, Helsinki, Finland

2018 Solo Show High Rider, Salon Dahlman, Berlin, Germany

2018 High Rider, Kunstverein Ruhr, Essen Germany

2017 Venus, Zetterberg Gallery, Helsinki

2012 Perfect, Zetterberg Gallery, Helsinki

2009 Teaser, Linna Gallery, Tallin Estonia

2008 Kiosk- solo project in city space of Vilnius Lithuania,

Vilnius Culture Capital 2009

2008 Teaser, Gallery Anhava, Helsinki

2006 Teaser, Gallery Extraspazio Rome

2005 Bait, Kluuvi Gallery, Helsinki

1999 Galleria push firma beige, Helsinki

1997 Terve Nuori Nainen, Gallery of the Academy of Art, Helsinki

Selected Group shows 2010-2023

2022-2023 And I Trust You, Miettinen Collection, Berlin

2022-2023 Variations, works from the collection of Jenny & Antti Wihuri Foundation, Rovaniemi Art Museum, Finland

2021-2022 Elämän äärellä, Hämeenlinna Art Museum, Finland

2021, Real or Not, Salo Art Museum, Finland

2021 Porvoo Triennial, Walter Runeberg Museum, Porvoo

2020-2021 Iconic Works, Ateneum museum, Helsinki/ National Museum Sweden

2020 Merry Things, works from the collection of Jenny & Antti Wihuri Foundation, Rovaniemi Art Museum, Finland

2020 Fantastic Death, group exhibition Forum Box, Helsinki

2019 Ars Fennica-prize nominees, Sven-Harrys Konstmuseum, Stockholm

2019 Bonum & Malum, Berlin

2019 Writing the History of the Future, ZKM Karlsruhe, Germany

2019 High Rider, Muyun Art & Culture Foundation, Beijing

2019 Ars Fennica-prize nominee exhibition, Amos Rex, Helsinki

2019 Mostly Happy, Haus am Lützowplatz, Berlin

2018 Group Show Considering Finland, Port25, Mannheim, Germany

2018 People in Focus – works from the collection of the Heino Art Foundation, Kuntsi Museum of Modern Art, Vaasa, Finland

2017-2018 With Seven League Boots – Stop Finland, works from Kiasma Collection, Bourse Museum Riga, Latvia

2017-2018 Bodybuilding, Wäinö Aaltonen Museum, Turku, Finland

2017 The Edgy, Museum of Fine Art, Split, Croatia

2017 I: self-portrait in Time, Kunsthalle Helsinki

2017 Lehmä pitää viedä jäälle jotta se tanssii, Samuelis Baumgarte Galerie, Bielefeld, Germany

2017 Pleasure of Love, 56th October Salon, Belgrade, Serbia

2016 From Love with Heino, works from the Heino Collection

HAM, Helsinki Art Museum, Finland

2015-2018 Touch, Saastamoinen Foundation, works from the collection,

Emma Museum of Modern Art, Espoo, Finland

2015 Face to Face, works from the Collection, Museum of Contemporary

Art, Kiasma

2014 SuperPop, opening exhibition of new Serlachius Museum, Mänttä, Finland

2013 Invisible Lady, Stina Krook Foundations anniversary Exhibition, Amos Anderson Art Museum, Helsinki (the show presented a large collection of Reinhards’ works)

2013 Desire For Freedom/ Verführung Freiheit, Kumu Museum, Tallin Estonia

2013 Desire For Freedom/ Verführung Freiheit, Palazzo Reale, Milan

2012-2013 Desire For Freedom/ Verführung Freiheit, German Historical Museum DHM, Berlin

2012 Lightness, Maison Particuliere, Brussels

2011 Close Your Eyes And Tell Me What You See, Turku Observatorium,  Finland

2011 Close Your Eyes And Tell Me What You See, Gothenburg Museum of Art Sweden

2010-2011 It’s a Set-Up, works from the Collection, Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, Helsinki

2010 Testimony-Videoscreening, Tensta konsthall, Stockholm,

2010 Arrivals and Departures – Mole Vanvitelliana, Ancona, Italy

2010 Tanssi/Dans – Video art and Photographs at Vesterås Art Museum, Sweden

2009 Finlandia 200, Helsinki City Arts Museum, Helsinki, Finland

2009 Fyra finska utsnitt, Borås Konstmuseum, Borås, Sweden

2009 Dans Över Gränsen, Dansens Hus, Stockholm, Sweden

2008 Just Different, Cobra Museum, Amstelveen, The Netherlands

2008 La position de la terre, CRAC Alsace, Rhinelander Contemporary Art Center, France

2007 In Search of the Miraculous, Kunsthalle, Helsinki, Finland

2007 Love Addiction, Gallery of Contemporary Art Monfalcone, Italy

2007 Lost & Found, Shedhalle, Zurich, Switzerland

2007-2008 CasZuidas, Public Art Project, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

2006 5 Tage bis zum Ende der Kunst – Fremd bin ich eingezogen Kunsthalle Fridericianum, Kassel

2006 The Eighth Square – Gender, Life and Desire in Art since 1960, Museum Ludwig, Cologne

2006 Art, Life & Confusion, 47th October Salon, Belgrade, curated by Renè Block

2006 Cooling Out – On the Paradox of Feminism, The Lewis Glucksman Gallery, Cork, Ireland

2006 Cooling Out – On the Paradox of Feminism, Kunsthaus Baselland, Basel

2006 Suspended e-motion, Gallery Vartai, Vilnius, Lithuania

2006 Fantastiskt Finsk, Skulpturens Hus, Stockholm, Sweden

2005-2006 Coolhunters, Kunsthalle Budapest, Künstlerhaus Vienna, Karlsruhe City Gallery

2005 Fractures of Life – works from the Collection, Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, Helsinki

2003 Coup de Coeur, a Sentimental Choice, CRAC Alsace, France

2003 Girls Don’t Cry, Parco Museum, Tokyo Japan

2002 Media Art in Dialog 1992-2002, ZKM Karlsruhe, Germany


2008-2009 Inhale/Exhale, 29 sek. Cleaning 2 min, Handbag 1:20 min.

2006-2008 Encounters 12 min

2004 Julio & Lupitá 4:35 min

2002 Boygirl, 12 min

2003 Female, 25 min

Selected Grants

2019-2023 5- Year working grant, Arts Council Finland

2016-2018 3-year working grant, Arts Council Finland

2015 Artist grant, Vantaa City, Finland

2010-2012 3-year working grant, Finnish Cultural Foundation

Selected Catalogs

2017 With Seven League Boots – Stop Finland, works from Kiasma Collection, Bourse Museum 2015-2018 Touch, Saastamoinen Foundation, works from the collection,

Emma Museum of Modern Art, Espoo, Finland

Riga, Latvia

2015 Face to Face/ Elements Contemporary Art Museum, Kiasma

2014 SuperPop, Serlachius Museum

2013 Invisible Lady, Amos Anderson Art Museum, Stina Krook Foundation

2013 Desire for Freedom, Art in Europe since 1945, Monika Flacke &

Deutsche Historishe Museum, Sandstein Verlag, 2012, (english catalog)

2012 Verführung Freiheit, Kunst in Europa seit 1945. Monika Flacke &

Deutsche Historishe Museum, Sandstein Verlag, 2012, (german catalog)