RISTO KARVINEN, a self-taught artist, was born in Kotka, Finland, July 29, 1945. As a child, he often had a knife, carving many amazing things out of wood. Later in school, it was evident that his creative work in art was unmatched. He was also very interested in drawing, human faces in particular.
During his many years of ornamental woodworking, he never lost interest in woodcarving as an art. This enthusiasm was rekindled in the early '70's during Risto's visit to Canada. Thus inspired, he moved to Sweden in 1977, where he later attended bildhuggarskolan i Tibro, graduating as one of the most talented students the instructors had ever encountered.
Since then, he has been working in his shop, chiseling huge, magnificent wood sculptures that take many months to complete. He uses birchwood and jelutong planks, which he glues together with dowels, creating a large, 15 cm thick blocks of wood that often weigh over 200 kg. Without any real drawings he begins his work.
RISTO KARVINEN painstakingly creates his carvings with his own hands, using 70 special wood carving chisels. Each masterpiece is one of a kind. Thus there are no duplicates anywhere in the world.
Risto has been interviewed by Swedish radio and press about his unique, detailed woodwork. He has hit the front pages of the Swedish largest newspapers. Countless people have admired his extraordinary works in art exhibitions in Sweden as well as in Canada. Due to so many requests, Risto began carving commissioned reliefs and sculptures for corporate companies, churches and private individuals.
In addition to his previous works, Risto has been commissioned by the Helsingborg municipal Government to create a commemorative tableau for the Harbor Commission. There has been radio and television coverage at the opening ceremonies when he has presented his sculptures to Swedish Government officials. The tableau is placed in the Harbor where it is viewed annually by nearly 20 million people from all over the world.
RISTO KARVINEN's exceptional artistic talents have reached the attention of the Swedish Royal family. He has been asked to carve statues of previous Royalties. Critics have commented that work like this has not been seen since the 15th and 16th centuries.