Born, Helsinki, Finland
Emigrates with family to the United States. Lives in Bensonhurst section of Brooklyn, New York. Learns to read at age 10. Moves to Sunset Park, then Bay Ridge. Attends Fort Hamilton, High School. Weakest player on the chess team. Works at Boy Scout Camp teaching swimming, canoeing, and lifesaving.
Enters Wagner College, Staten Island, New York as Philosophy & Religion major. Switches to English Literature in Sophomore year. Edits Wagner Literary Magazine in Junior year. Overcomes cleft-palate complex by dating one beautiful girl after another for a whole semester.
Joins E.T. Howard Advertising Agency in New York as a copywriter on Peugeot, J & B Scotch, and Minolta Cameras. Writes: "What happens inside your mind can happen inside a camera." Advertising career initially spans five years, from 1967 to 1972. Takes photo course with Ken Heyman.
Applies to Rhode Island School of Design. Application is rejected. Enrolls for summer photography workshop at Apeiron in Millerton, New York under Diane Arbus. Workshop is cancelled, never meets Arbus. Studies with John Benson instead. Makes first self-portrait on September 2, 1971.
First solo exhibition at Soho Photo Gallery. Reapplies successfully to Rhode Island School of Design. Harry Callahan asks: "Why would you want to come here?" Replies: "To continue what I started at Apeiron." Also teaching with Callahan is Aaron Siskind. Moves to Narragansett, Rhode Island. Photographs in Pachaug, Connecticut, boyhood summer place.
Invited by Jussi Aalto to teach at the University of Industrial Arts Helsinki beginning in the fall of 1974. Stays two years.
Joins Massachusetts Institute of Technology as Assistant Professor. Moves to Lowell Street in Andover, Massachusetts.
Invited back to teach in Finland at the Lahti Institute of Design and University of Art and Design Helsinki. Meets Viviane Esders who presents exhibitions in Paris and other French venues.
First solo exhibition in New York (since 1972) at Houk Friedman Gallery. Begins working in the American southwest. "Still Not There", an hour long documentary by Kimmo Koskela on the life and photographic/video work produced for Finnish television. Meets Radu Stern, director adjoint, École d'arts appliqués, Vevey, Switzerland. Begins teaching first year students in the photography program there. The University of Lowell becomes the University of Massachusetts Lowell.
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