Audronė Petrašiūnatė once said: “I don’t make paintings. I live them. A white canvas is where I encounter the world.” It’s not surprising, then, that her works reflect the daily routine of different periods of life and the reality that was important to her. In her works we see a small rabbit hopping in from her childhood, the anguish of her mother’s death, and even the goddesses of pop culture – Lady Gaga and Amy Winehouse – all of which can be seen on the MO Museum website. But let’s talk briefly about what we see here.
The rabbits that appear in Self-Portrait, one of Petrašiūnatė’s early works, speak to her worldview. Raised in Kazlų Rūda and later residing in a village called Visakio Rūda, Petrašiūnatė used her paintings to tame domestic animals, the soil, even the rain. Less interested in the routine and struggles of village existence, she was drawn to life and the gentle flow of the every day, which she associated with her own memories and imagination.
Petrašiūnatė began her creative career in the 1980s, quickly distinguishing herself from the rest of her generation with a vivid, bright color palette and the lightness felt in her paintings. But her own life experience, the deaths of loved ones, and her own health concerns soon eclipsed her lightness and dreams.
In later works, tranquility was replaced by drama, optimism and harmony yielded to emotional tension, and serene colors were taken over by uncharacteristically dark tones. What remained constant in Petrašiūnatė’s work? Perhaps the intertwining of reality and imagination – something she shares with Lady Gaga’s diverse concert costumes and surprising incarnations. Which include the occasional rabbit.