Esko Männikkö is self-taught but belongs to a group of Finnish photographers, most of whom graduated from the Museum of Industrial Design in Helsinki. His first portrait series presented the day-to-day life of a local family but his international breakthrough came with a series of mostly single men photographed in the area around Oulu. Today Männikkö lives and works in Oulo.
Männikkö has participated in exhibitions all over the world, including "Northern Realities" at the Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art, Thessaloniki (1991), at Portikus in Frankfurt, "Borealis 8 The Scream" at ARKEN, "Ars Baltica Photography Triennial" at Schleswig-Holstein Landesmuseum, "Manifesta" at Chabot Museum, Rotterdam (1996), the solo show "Mexas" at Galerie Nordenhake in Stockholm and Photographic Centre Nykyaika in Tampere.
Morever he has exhibited at the "São Paulo Biennial" in São Paulo, "This Side Of the Ocean", KIASMA, Helsinki, "Nuit Blanche" at Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, "Sightings" at ICA in London (1997), "Contemporary Photography II: Anti-Memory" at Yokohama Museum of Art, Yokohama, "Organising Freedom" at Moderna Museet in Stockholm/
Charlottenborg in Copenhagen (1998).
In 2000 his exhibitions included Oulu Art Museum, Galerie cent8 in Paris and Galeria Estrany de La Mota in Barcelona as well as "The Kwangju Biennial 2000" in Kwangju.
Furthermore Männikkö is represented at Fondation Cartier pour l'art contemporain in Paris, Oulu Art Museum in Oulu, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki, Moderna Museet in Stockholm, Pori Art Museum in Pori, Tampere Art Museum in Tampere, Rovaniemi Art Museum in Rovaniemi, Museet for Samtidskonst in Oslo, Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, Northern Photographic Centre in Oulu, Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo Per L'Arte and Malmö Konstmuseum.