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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.
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Frank Fox