Art

Paola Ivana Suhonen (born 1974) is a multi-talented Finnish designer, artist, entrepreneur, musician and a film maker. She is especially known for her fashion brand Ivana Helsinki, which she founded in 1998. The visual world of Ivana Helsinki takes its inspiration from Paola's own strong, poetic visions, roadtrip romantics and is heavily based on her personal life experiences and values.

Paola’s much celebrated signature style is embedded with influential Scandinavian roots; evoking memories of white arctic summer nights and the eerie hovering isolation of the notorious Nordic winters and legends of her childhood. Graphics and prints enjoy her unique mix of yester-year flavours and sophistication, with a shot of contemporary charm that can be seen throughout the designs of IVANAhelsinki fashion, films, design and most recently, music.

Paola Suhonen lived in the United States for five years. She finished a two-year program ( one year lectures, one year internship) in New York Film Academy. While in New York she worked with various art and film projects and ran her own art and fashion space in Nolita, Manhattan.

After her time in New York Suhonen continued to her Master's degree program in one of the world's most recognized film schools, American Film Institute in Hollywood, Los Angeles. School's well-known alumni include David Lynch, Terrence Malick and Wally Pfister.

She has collaborated with multiple artists in Finland and worldwide. These include Beth Ditto, Juliette Lewis, Chip Taylor, Shirley Manson ( garbage), Erika Spring ( Aurevoir Simone) and Lee Ranaldo ( Sonic Youth).

Suhonen has an exceptional skill to bring out the sensitive and humane side of her subjects as well as creating strong and cinematic worlds. This shows in her fashion films, documentaries and fictional films. Suhonen was awarded with the prestigious Student Emmy prize with a film she worked as cinematographer in 2013 ( WINNER Student EMMY for Outstanding Drama/ SHORTLIST 40th Student Academy Awards/ WINNER BAFTA LA Student Film Awards - Special Jury Award). She is specialized in alternative photography ( wetplate collodium technique, large format photography) and cinematography technics( 16mm film especially) and still mostly shooting on film. Suhonen is also a member of the legendary AFI alumni Guild in Hollywood.

Suhonen directed and worked as cinematographer at her own debut feature film; 7 Heaven Love Ways. She also wrote, directed and shot numerous narrative short films. Her most recent works include a documentary film project of legendary pornstar Nina Hartley, a documentary of Finland's oldest ice swimming world champion and a TV series about sisterhood. Suhonen's next feature will be premiered in summer 2024. lt's a Road movie, about every human rights, love and betrayal mentored by legendary artist, Academy Awards winner Jörn Donner. At the moment Suhonen is also teaching photography, cinematography and filmmaking at the Helsinki Design School. Her music videos and art films have been premiered at the prestige Billboard video channel, on festivals and in many galleries around the world.

Some of her art films have gathered over 10 million views per film in Youtube.

Suhonen has also worked as a guest lecturer at Helsinki Aalto University. She has also created children´s book series called ”Special dog Affe”. Suhonen is known for advokating for animal rights, love for natural science and sustainable fashion. She is also an founding activist for “No social media” movement. Paola Ivana Suhonen has been recognized with two of the most valued art prizes in Finland, Pro Finlandia (2013) and Suomi-prize (2018). She has two masters degrees (Master of Arts / Aalto University ( Fashion) and Master of Fine Arts/ Fashion / American Film Institute).

Paola is also member of the folkrock band Lone Deer Laredo, being one of the songwriters/composers. The Band is building their 7 album series with legendary, Nashville based producer, Brad Jones (Dolly Parton, Josh Rouse) with musicians including Chris Carmichael (Lionel Richie, Taylor Swift) and Jim Hoke (Emmylou Harris, Paul McCartney, Van Morrison, The Beach Boys, Joan Baez).

Her band has toured around the world and played their cinematic gigs in big venues like in SXSW, Austin and more intimate boutique shows like in the reseption of Finnish embassy in Madrid, Spain and guest gigs in Japan for exsample at prestige Spiral Hall gallery, Tokyo. Paola has travelled around the world shooting her art, experimental photoseries. These include series called: Southern boys, Southern girls( Nashville, Tennessee)/ Trees ( Redwoods, Oregon), This is for You Gram ( Joshua Tree, California), Poem Portrait of Nina ( around USA and Finland), Minertowns ( Kolmanskop, Namibia and Mätäsvaara Finland) etc.

She has had her own solo Art exhibition at one of the most prestige art galleries in Finland, Taidehalli, 2017. Her artwork has been shown around the world in Museums and Galleries.

Paola Ivana Suhonen has been recognized with two of the most valued art prizes in Finland, Pro Finlandia (2013) and Suomi-prize (2018).

She runs her own Gallery and Studio space in Eastern Helsinki, called Ivana Helsinki House.

Paola Ivana Suhonen is an endless adventurer, passionate in fashion, art and finding always new roads. She believes in the strong bond between Art and Science.