Stasele Jakunskaite (b. 1988) has finished her MA-level painting studies at Vilnius Academy of Arts in 2016. During several years she developed her own distinct and recognisible style.
Many young lithuanian painters dissociate themselves from expressionistic forms that are often considered as a main characteristic of lithuanian painting traditions. S. Jakunskaite also choses this path. Her paintings are laconic, almost graphic. Traditional painting forms like brushstrokes, texture, shadows are reduced to a minimal extent. The image is created by combining flat areas of different colours and an outline. The objects are simplified, unmaterialistic.
The main themes explored by S. Jakunskaite are contemporary folklore and mythology of everyday life. The artist expresses these issues by taking a common phrase from odinary life (‘son of a bitch’, ‘kidney in tallow’, ‘games with fire’), a popular belief (aliens, the end of the world), wide spread stereotypes, popular culture references or her own experiences. She takes her inspiration from details which usually are not noticed. Those banalities of thinking and language are transformed to visual signs. This way a flying plate becomes a construction of faience plates and the sons of a bitch just a bunch of sleeping puppies.
The titles of the paintings are witty and the motives are not difficult to decode. But there is a tension between meaning and representation. S. Jakunskaite plays with objects and notions and develops them into ironic provocations which help to reveal and criticise the paradoxes of everyday life and their irational nature.
The artist explores communication as an action of interchanging ideas, emphasising its ability to transphorm and twist a message. The painted objects become the artefacts of communication. The imbalance between a notion and an image provokes misrepresentation and misunderstanding.
The paintings of S. Jakunskaite are engaging and interactive. A viewer is instantly invited to take part in a dialogue with an artwork and make his own assumptions.