Artist - Sculpturer - Craftsman
The author and designer of the Marinemine furniture is Mati Karmin, whose career is characterised by an intense and remarkably versatile activity.
Mati Karmin has already 25 years been one of the personalities in the Estonian sculpture. His career as an artist is characterised by an intense and remarkably versatile activity.Like many of his contemporaries, the representatives of so-called 1980s generation in the Estonian art, Karmin recived professional training in the Estonian State Art Institute, wich was thorough, yet traditional, not to say conservative according to the internationa criteria. During his tudie, Estonian sculpture was predominantly figurative and employed traditional materials like stone and bronze.
Karmin, on the other hans, has been creating almost all his independent work in rapidly charging art scene, wich is characterised by the denial of traditions, the disputation of values, and blurring of borders between the art forms as well as art and its surrounding space. The notion of sculpture itself has undergone an especially radical transformation. Karmin has reacted to the changing situation perhaps in more dynamic, yet also controversial manner than the majority of Estonian artists. Vibrant creativity, with a very professional plastic thinking and perfect material perception at its heart, has allowed him to act as a traditionalist as well an innovator, achieving outstanding results in both areas.
Besides traditional materials, primarily bronze, Karmin has taken inspiration from unconventional solutions and employed innovative materials right from the beginning of his career. Early on, he caught attention with one of his first exhibited sculptures, “Military Fox” (1981), cleverly formed of corroded scrap metal details. Scrap metal has frequently emerged as an important material and source of inspiration also in the later work of Karmin. Up to mid-1990s, he used scrap metal basically within the borders of the traditional notion of sculpture. By that we think of figures and decorative forms that communicate with space, like the conventional free sculpture, and that are meant to be placed on a platform. Having previously only tentatively touched the borders of the classical notion of sculpture, Karmin in 1994 surprised the public with an epochal conceptual installation “My Father”, taking as the material the career and extensive collection of weeds of his father who was an agricultural reasearcher. Within the same period falls also the dispaly of impressive construction site cabins of corroded metal on the green area in front of Tallinn art Hall Gallery during the group exhibition of innovative sculptors.