PICTURE HAS TO BE WAYLAID

Theatre stage designer Augis Kepežinskas is the host of Line, Colour, Form at the Lithuanian National Broadcaster.  Together with his crew he made to my studio in Šančiai to talk a bit more about the pictures that come to life there and that were shown recently as The Mysteries of Šančiai at gallery Meno niša in Vilnius.  The episode of Line, Colour, Form can be viewed here.

Painting…  When you approach painting…  But you have got to do something before that.  To read a book, perhaps to watch a film.  Then you go and buy paints.  It is this kind of a process when you slink towards the picture – not that you assail it but you have to waylay it.

White canvas gets on my nerves.  I always ruin it in the beginning.  I apply a layer so the white surface would not be reminded.  Some ask why I am destroying it like this, why I need the canvas altogether then.  I need it as a ritual.  It is affection.  Then I destroy it, cover with different layers, soil it.  Then I sit down, watch, and start seeing that something is emerging, and there is a thought in the head dashing out.

Well, I always start with the figure.  It is important for me.  You walk somewhere and see the figure drawn with crayons by a child, and that place becomes something.  The figure gives meaning to that environment, that place, and a context, a relation forms.  And next to it – a window, a bin, a shop or a tree grows.  And I start in the similar manner.  Then the next stage – a layer again, I soil it again, and I either emphasize that figure or submerge it, remove it.  It’s an interesting process.

I am thinking about those layers all the time.  I need the multi-layeredness because I do not trust clean, clear brushwork, the activity that can be predicted when it is evident in advance how it all will end.  I need the intrigue.  I need to be surprised by what it is becoming.  It is a kind of adventure.  You meddle in and then something more happens and you stop because nothing more can happen in that place.

I do not know how much painting, how much drawing there is in this, how much destruction and preservation of what was applied in the beginning.  It is an intrigue, a crime, a detective story….

The Lithuanian transcript can be read here.

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