Henrikas Natalevičius emerged on the Lithuanian art scene in the 1970s. To this day, his work continues to astound audiences with bold, surrealistic and grotesque motifs. The teeming worlds of miniature chimeras portrayed in his paintings resemble the unfortunate consequences emerging from a biology laboratory.
The work Twenty-Five Scenes is a series of miniatures painted on twenty-five matchboxes, depicting hybrid characters combining pink, hairless humans with birds, reptiles and rats. Natalevičius calls his beings “ratmen“. His images are full of rituals of torture and the death penalty, as well as strange ceremonies, night herding and inquisition bonfires, and agricultural labor. Depictions of battles and coercion are interspersed with scenes of nurturing and cohabitation. It‘s difficult to decide whether these creatures are disgusting or likeable. Their rat-like faces sometimes transform into the beak of a predatory bird or the jaws of a crocodile.