Jaan Toomik (b. 1961) is an acknowledged Estonian painter, video and performance artist. Having started out as a painting student in the late 1980s, his practice shifted towards installation and performance art after the collapse of the Soviet Union. In the last decade, Toomik has become increasingly involved in film, writing and directing a short film “Oleg” (2010) and a feature film “Landscape with Many Moons” (2014).
Toomik gained international recognition in the 1990s primarily for his video works. His works like “Way To Sao Paulo” (1994) shown at the Sao Paulo biennial that year, and “Dancing Home” first screened in Helsinki at ARS ’95, laid the foundations of Toomik’s practice which proceeded to trace and transcend both geographical and autobiographical borders. The artist’s most successful and well known work “Father and Son” (1998) portrayed the artist skiing naked on the frozen Baltic sea to the soundtrack of his then 10-year-old son’s religious choir singing. The video belongs to several private and museum collections, including Estonian Art Museum, Tallinn; Erika Hoffmann collection, Berlin; Stedeljik museum, Amsterdam; Moderna Museet, Stockholm; Ludwig museum, Budapest. Toomik's artworks are represented in prominent contemporary art collections such as Louis Vuitton Foundation, Trussardi Foundation, V-A-C and many others.
Toomik has exhibited widely, both at home and abroad, where he has participated in the first Manifesta (1996), 4th Berlin Contemporary Art Biennial (2006) and represented Estonia at the Venice Biennial twice, in 1997 and 2003. His recent solo exhibitions and screenings include “My End is My Beginning. And My Beginning is My End”, Moscow Museum of Modern Art; “A Theatre of Gestures”, curated by Andris Brinkmanis, The Mukusala Art Salon, Riga (2018); “How the West Was Left”, curated by Anders Kreuger, Central Market, Tallinn (2017); Film and video retrospective, 63rd International Short Film Festival Oberhausen (2017); “First Slumber”, Tallinn Art Hall Gallery (2016); "Smells Like Old Men's Spirit", Temnikova & Kasela, Tallinn (2015); 84 HRZ Gallery, Munich; Werkstattgalerie, Berlin (2014); Galleri Sult / Skur 6 , Stavanger; Orton Gallery, Helsinki (2013); ARTRA Gallery, Milano; Pop/off art Gallery, Moscow (2012).