Enhancing the quality of human experience, art is always trying to communicate with its spectators and share the message artist wanted to convey. With that in mind, is it possible for an artist to successfully create art that can be used by viewers as a channel to communicate with themselves? In Andrius Zakarauskas’ artwork, art embodies this mirrorlike quality.
Blurring the thin lines between reality and fantasy, Zakarauskas creates large-format figurative paintings whose subject matter is not clearly defined. Combining dark, muddy colors with intense, focused accents of brighter tones, artist breathes life into paintings’ representational content: ephemeral figures occupy and take over the surface of a canvas, mysteriously blending with the pictorial environment.
“I think you can never stop searching for your style: it’s not about the style that matters. It is about what you want to say to viewers – what is your message.”
Not only that the painted figures are vague and cannot be clearly distinguished one from another, to utilize the cognitive and metacognitive skills of his viewers more, Zakarauskas often paints and includes his own image – either as a part of a pictorial scene or in front of the canvas, thus creating a painting within a painting. In this way, the theoretical discourse of Zakarauskas’ artwork encompasses a diverse set of insights, assumptions, and questions: is artist a creator of an art piece and, simultaneously, his own audience?
“For me, the most important thing is that my paintings touch the viewer. It does not really matter how: it’s emotion itself that matters.”
Deep into Psyche
The vagueness of Zakarauskas’ visual structure forces the viewers to engage themselves within the subject matter. In order to read and interpret what is being portrayed, a viewer must use already gathered knowledge from his life experience, combined with imagination and individual assumptions, thus coming to a point where, if he really wants to understand Zakarauskas’ art piece, he needs to be stripped to his core and revealed to himself.
“I do not believe in inspiration: I do not wait for the ‘muse’ to come. The images I am making come from everyday life.”
Not taking away the power of the viewer to become a part of a painting by giving it a specific, individual meaning, Zakarauskas opened the never-ending portal of human imagination. In that way, Andrius Zakarauskas’ art imposes to his viewers more questions than it gives answers, offering the opportunity to the audience to dive deep into their own psyche and explore the parts that remained unseen and inactive, thus using art as a medium to reveal the viewers to themselves.