June 5, 2020 / July 4, 2020

Ornithologist's Dream

In the exhibition, Viktoras Paukštelis presents a series of paintings created in 2017-2019. Its main motif is a bird. During the creative process, the painter, like an ornithologist, observes birds in different situations, states and conditions. Viktor interprets and varies the image of a bird in his work, the motif of a painting can be a dead bird, a bird hiding from a hunter or a symbolic outline of a bird's body-map, contour. It is not only the structure and form of the bird as a specific motif or living organism that is important to the painter. While painting, he seems to identify with the object he is becoming and, using the creative method of double observation, explores and reflects on himself. A symbolic parallel with the painter's own surname can also be seen in the choice of the bird motif. Viktor ironizes the self-portrait and self-reflection in a kind of way, using the homonymous play on words – Bird (Paukštelis) – bird (paukštis). When painting, V. Paukštelis seeks not only a direct, anatomically accurate representation of a bird - alikeness. For him, the state caused by the painting of a bird image is important. While painting, Paukštelis experiments with the consistency of paint, collages watercolor painted areas, with sketchy drawing with pastotic strokes, painted details. This can be attributed to the structure of the bird as a living organism, which consists of both skeletons and light, quivering feathers and internal organs. Viktor deliberately chooses a different pictorial expression for each bird motif - from realistic to reduced, to a linear drawing. By this, the painter aims to emphasize that each motif requires a different painting solution. The cultural-historical context is important to Paukštelis, and he reflects on questions of truth and authenticity. It can be said that cultural memory, which has become part of personal memory, encourages him to create and paint. For him, painting is like a medicine that both heals and causes addiction. As the author himself states: "painting is not so much that it makes me more and more deeply saddened and oppressed, but it helps me realize that in a broad sense I create in a context with art history and cultural memory and reveal the inevitability of distancing myself from it. When painting a dead bird, I cannot paint it completely "authentically", "truly". Because I know how it has already been painted by Chardin or Borremans. My painted bird already in a certain sense takes over the energy of their painted birds." The exhibition presents a series of paintings - it's like a story without a plot, but its individual details create a coherent narrative that resembles fragments of dreams of an ornithologist returning from an expedition.