A little bit of background on Esko Mannikko and Finnish photography from a lecture
given by Asko Makela in Iceland a few years back.
"Esko Männikkö is a good example of a mythical Finnish man. He does not talk much. Actually he talks quite seldom - like all the men in northern Finland. There is a story of Esko Männikkö’s exhibition opening in New York where he was present. Nan Goldin comes in and asks if they could exchange an artwork. Männikkö says slowly to her: “I hate your works. I change nothing.” He has also surprised galleries by staying in Finland and going for fishing with his silent friends instead of going to the opening of his exhibition.
True or not, Esko Männikkö was the mystical man from the beginning. His success started when Peter Schjeldahl wrote an article about his works in ARS 95 to Artforum. In the article he tells that he bought one of Esko Männikkö’s work for himself, which was a quite unusual statement. On the day when Artforum came out, New York gallerists tried to find out who represents him in New York or in Finland. They smelled business. But *Esko* Männikkö did not have a gallerist and did not even talk so much and even less in English. Claes Nordenhake started then to represent him from Stocholm. Esko Männikkö was the first internationally marketed Finnish photography artist.