Vesa Aaltonen (born 1965 in Finland) is a freelance photographer and artist. He graduated from Turku University of Applied Sciences in 1995. Based in Turku, he has been working widely with architecture, art reproduction, as well as museum and theatre photography, among other things. He used to teach photography at the Turku Arts Academy in 1997–2005. Along various commissions, Aaltonen works as an artist photographer and has had several solo and group exhibitions since 1997. He has also been mentoring numerous self-portrait workshops. Aaltonen’s works can be found, for example, in the collections of Helsinki and Turku City Art Museums.
The passing of time inspires Aaltonen. He is interested in places where human presence can be felt and is always looking for symbolic meanings in his surroundings. The starting point for his work is often cultural landscape, art history, or architecture – places or things that have had a deep and lasting influence on people for centuries. While the targets of his photography usually turn up naturally, rudimentary ideation feeds his appetite and determines the direction of the final work. Experimenting with subjects is a cornerstone of Aaltonen’s creative work. First impressions are important. Episodes of the past or the history of a place often play a remarkable role. Sometimes simply light, colour, form, an old object, or a detail of the nature is enough to spark Aaltonen's interest.
Aaltonen’s works vary constantly from abstract landscapes to architectural highly in-focus presentations. He enjoys experimenting and does not want to repeat himself. His works may seem beautifully presented and polished, yet the unstable global situation makes him concerned. It is important to be awake, to reflect on happiness, achievement, loss, fear, and disappointment, but also on hope and life itself. What is truly relevant is the observation of one’s surroundings: looking back from time to time, and then moving on.