“A contemporary young artists does not need to say any more that “I’m a painter” or “I’m a poet”, “I’m a dancer”. He simply is “an artist”. This quotation was said sixty years ago by famous American painter Allan Kaprow, who shaped the origins of happening and performance movements and became their pioneer in this way. Although from a certain view point, neither this nor the other term essentially fits for the exhibition, which you have entered and you will see soon; however, that what happens behind all canvas exhibited in the gallery is a happening of XXI century.
You will not find any texts about Benas Poderis in the publications of Lithuanian art criticism. Besides, you will hardly find any feedbacks or reviews of his artistic path towards this exhibition. However, Google search will take less than four tenths of a second to provide a little bit less than six thousand records about this person, but how many of them are related to that what you will see today...? The most important starting point of the exhibition “Relations (un)fold” is performance in young person’s life when his aspiration to find wisdom and identity in unawareness exceeds the boundaries.
“My creation contains as much realism as it is required for the person to understand the represented object – a character and a situation, and as much as aesthetics requires – I do not admire too infantile lines and rough, chaotic brushstroke if there is nothing behind it.”
Most part of Benas’ paintings contains characters who hover in undefined theatrical spaces or communicate as Marc Chagall’s lovers – by finding each other in untimely space with no rules. Or contrarily, faces of well-known and forecast characters covered with plaque masks appear from the dark background by gripping your attention and penetrating our sights faster than we grasp them.
Fencing fights emerging from the diptychs, the shapes of which assimilate with thresholds of metaphysic subsistence, and persons there are not identified and provided for a glance anatomy like from behind the backstage. Power drama erupting from the triptychs hides in simple lines like staged by Franz Kline and their brutal intersections. Or contrarily, a variation occurred in the triptych of the same composition and a sudden horizon of the desert intensively looking at us on the surface of three-part canvases, which is similar to the latter one only because of its nature at the best as it is rather a life allegory by itself. If you choose to know him through the prism of his creation, you will have to walk in such silhouettes of Benas Poderis’ thoughts. That his “world of the personal secret” (John Craxton, 1941) is similar to Jean Tinguely’s sculptural machines – details selected separately and provided for watching would not say anything; however, they all together create more than a view – and there is narrative, which appears as a puzzle for us through his author.
This exhibition involves such artistic boundaries defined by time only – from Paris school and magic realism up to neo-romanticism and beatnik art. And really, in order to see what Benas Poderis wants to show in “Relations (un)fold”, we will have to cross humanity boundaries together with works of art because logic and common sense only hinder here. Probably, both we and they will learn about our own identity in unawareness.
Author - Aistė M. Grajauskaitė | AMG