In Finland, the landscape of the city of Vantaa now features a grand mural celebrating Finnish Eurovision icon Käärijä. This vibrant artistic tribute captures the essence of Käärijä’s celebrated performance, which secured Finland’s second-highest achievement in the history of the song contest.
Post his remarkable performance at Eurovision 2023, where he clinched the second spot, Käärijä’s popularity has soared, establishing him as a cherished national figure. The city’s homage to his success is a monumental mural that adorns the wall of a Prisma outlet in Tikkurila, a district chosen for its accessibility and high foot traffic, making it a new focal point for tourists and fans.
Riikka Åstrand, Vantaa’s deputy mayor, elaborates on the location choice: “Tikkurila is a vibrant district, and we wanted Käärijä’s tribute to be easily accessible to both locals and international visitors.”
Emanating from a public voting process, two finalist designs were presented, with Käärijä himself making the ultimate selection. The chosen artwork is a joint venture by Viivi Vierinen, Juha Lahtinen, and Joonas Koponen, whose design encapsulates Käärijä’s exuberance and features motifs from his Eurovision hit, “Cha Cha Cha.”
The mural, which encompasses a staggering nine to thirty meters in height, was a laborious endeavor, demanding innovative techniques, including constructing a colossal compass to integrate lyrics into the artwork. The artists Vierinen, Koponen, and Lahtinen contributed their expertise in portraiture, calligraphy, and background artistry to create this large-scale masterpiece.
Adding to Käärijä’s expanding influence, his previous residence in Malmi has been converted into a rental property, offering a unique living experience. Adorned with his emblematic green palette and featuring the artist’s painting in his iconic bolero, the apartment is now a coveted destination for short-term stays, amplifying his presence in Finland’s cultural and tourism sectors.
This initiative came to fruition following Käärijä’s reception of a complimentary apartment in Vantaa for a year, an honor awarded for his Eurovision accomplishments. As a result, his former Malmi home now serves as an immersive city retreat, drawing in admirers and vacationers.