Jouko Lehtola 1963–2010

1963 Jouko Lehtola is born in Helsinki.
1975–76 Takes his first photographs at a Hurriganes concert at the Helsinki Football Stadium.

His career as a press and rock photographer begins after leaving school, when the local paper Länsiväylä from Espoo and later the music magazine Rumba start to publish his pictures of gigs.

Subsequently, Lehtola takes pictures of artists such as The Rasmus, PMMP, Anssi Kela, Kalle Ahola and Samuli Edelmann. The most famous piece is a picture of Ville Valo on the cover of HIM’s record Razorblade Romance.
1983–86 Studies at the Free Art School.
1986–93 Master of Arts, Department of Photography at the University of Art and Design Helsinki.
1986 First group exhibition.
1991 First solo exhibition.
1995–96 The Young Heroes series makes Lehtola known to the general public.
1996 Young Art Finland Prize.
2000 Curates the group exhibition Urban Youth together with Stefan Bremer in Helsinki City Art Museum.
2000–01 Lehtola’s tattoo pictures tour with the DIY Lives exhibition in Kaustinen, Kajaani, Rauma and Helsinki.

After his partner’s son dies of a heroin overdose in 1998, Lehtola begins to shoot sites of overdose deaths for the series OD Helsinki.
2000–04 Several international group exhibitions. In Shanghai, Lehtola’s pictures of young people and tattoos are removed from the exhibition, because “in China young people do not have such an idea of life.”

In parallel with his creative work, Lehtola works for Image magazine and the monthly supplement of Helsingin Sanomat newspaper. He also teaches photography at the University of Art and Design, the Institute of Design in Lahti, and the Turku Arts Academy.
2004 Lehtola’s Finnish View – Fragments of Our Time is the first solo exhibition of a Finnish photographer held in Kunsthalle Helsinki.
The book Jouko Lehtola’s Finlandia is published.
2005–09 Several exhibitions in Finland and abroad.

In addition to Helsinki, Lehtola also lives on Nötö, an island in the outer archipelago of Turku, where he spends several months a year fishing.
2008 Photographs ladyboy prostitutes in Barcelona and Bangkok for the series Some Girls.
Diagnosed with liver cancer.
2009–10 Riitta Riihonen directs a documentary of her friend entitled Jouko Lehtola in Light.

During the exhibition, the film is screened at Mediatheque!
2010 Jouko Lehtola dies of cancer aged 47.

His testament includes the wish to set up a foundation. The Jouko Lehtola Foundation supports young photographers working with a documentary orientation and also publicises Lehtola's own work.