World&I july 2001|
The World of Stasys Eidrigevicius
[...] Masks are important in Stasys' work. 'A mask is like a new face', he said. The interest
seems to date to 1986, when he saw native masks in Chicago. He ahs made a series of masks since then,
mostly for children's books. The art critic Janusz Gania, who wrote extensively about his masks
and drawings, described Stasys' ingeniousness as equivalent to that of Gabriel García Márquez.
There may be other comparison as well. Stasys' drawings and masks remind one of the art
of Bruno Schultz, the 'Polish Kafka', a Jewish artist and writer who was shot to death
in wartime Drohobycz. The characters of both artists have heads disproportionately larger
than their bodies. They are childlike in an adult world. The difference is that Schultz's
world overflows with sexuality whereas Stasys' creatures seem moribund. Both artists convey
in their work a sense of dread and loneliness.
Another art critic, Zbigniew Taranienko, writes that Stasys' work reppresents 'loneliness
wrapped up in itself, full of bitterness.' The source could very well be found in the
mythology and martyrology of the Lithuanian, Polish and Belorussian countryside close
to Stasys' origins and heart.