Identity

Learn about the artwork of two contemporary artists who portray Lithuanian identity: “Karalių pasaka“ (Engl. ‘Fairy Tale of Kings’) by Eglė Kuckaitė and “ID” by  Audrius Novickas.

For Eglė Kuckaitė, the painting ‘Fairy Tale of Kings’ by Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis serves as the source of inspiration. The artist has replaced the symbolic figures of the rulers with personalities important for the Lithuanian culture, in particular writer Julija Žemaitė and poet Adomas Mickevičius. The Lithuanian village shining in the hands of M. K. Čiurlionis’ Kings is as important as the multicultural city for the Lithuanian identity. It is not by chance that Žemaitė and Mickevičius are holding the Vilnius Cathedral, designed by Laurynas Gucevičius in classicism style. 

Lithuanian culture has been built by people of various nationalities: Lithuanians, Poles, Jews, Russians, Belarusians, Karaims, Italians, Germans and many others. Similarly to ants, all of them have made their contribution to Kuckaitė’s work. The keyword of the fresco made of stamps is the ‘heart’.

Many Lithuanian artists belong to several cultures, which only enriches our world outlook. Audrius Novickas discloses his Lithuanian and Karaim origins by eating a Lithuanian potato dumpling ‘cepelinas’ and a Karaim pasty ‘kibin’ against the background of Trakai Castle. The important thing is not what one looks like or what one eats or what language one speaks, but to whom one dedicates one’s works. A. Mickevičius wrote in Polish: ‘O Lithuania, my country, thou art like good health; / I never knew till now how precious, till I lost thee’ (translated by Kenneth R. Mackenzie). A viable culture tries to preserve all the voices of people who create it.