"Nelli Palomäki questions the definition of portraiture, which she has chosen to work with in conventional black and white. She states that her models remain elusive. The portraits may bear a certain relationship to their subjects' features, but their faces look different. Palomäki questions the notion of identity and resemblance by sharing her doubts with us. She sees her portraits as pieces of puzzles that might represent her memory. " —Nathalie Hershdorfer
Nelli Palomäki's Julia at 5 was featured in reGeneration 2: Tomorrow's Photographers Today, the second book in the Aperture series shining a spotlight on the next generation's rising stars. It is a portrait of her sister's daughter, whom Palomäki has been photographing since she was three. Working with this subject who she knows very well, the artist captures the honesty and fragility of children's behavior being photographed; the way they don't yet control their body and face as adults do, and at the same time some of them seem as independent as adults are. Palomäki's work seeks the perfect picture, but allows the portrait to surprise her, whether with its strength or failure. As the artist states "If I succeeded in taking the perfect picture, I would hardly continue shooting."
Nelli Palomäki (born in Forssa, Finland, 1981) is pursuing her MA in Photography at the University of Art and Design Helsinki. She has had solo exhibitions in Germany and Finland, and participated in group shows in Sweden, Spain, France, and Russia, among others. Her work is held in the collections of Helsinki City Art Museum, Finland; StatoilHydro Art Collection, Norway; and the Hasselblad Foundation, Sweden, among others. She has been awarded the Victor Fellowship from the Hasselblad Foundation, and is represented by Gallery TAIK.