Patricija Jurkšaitytė draws her inspiration from very different sources than most Lithuanian painters. Like her contemporary British painter Glenn Brown and some other Western artists, she copies and transforms the pieces of the famous old masters. Yet the Lithuanian replaces the conceptually rational and ironic strategies of the mentioned Westerners by an ambiguous and enigmatically nostalgic view of the past.
Patricija is a Neo-Romantic painter, conceiving a hermetic, as if cinematically staged world with historical scenery, costumes and special effects. She repaints the masterpieces of the renowned Renaissance and 17th century masters, recreating the interiors without the characters. The artist also freely improvises on the themes of great and minor old masters’ paintings.
Jurkšaitytė says: “Classical paintings contain a multitude of interesting details that remain unnoticed at first sight. The viewer’s attention is attracted by the main characters and significant elements of the subject matter. Yet in every painting there are odd, marginal zones between existence and emptiness, between accidental combination of objects and figures and possibility of a new plot.” The viewer notices that Jurkšaitytė has made Venus or Danaë disappear, instead focusing on the fabric of their beds or details of the landscape, or has left only Mary’s empty bedroom after the Annunciation, faithfully recreating every element of its setting.
Elimination and reconstruction are equally important and contemplative processes to Jurkšaitytė. She does not take any shortcuts here, carefully reproducing not only the multiple details, but also the techniques and interactions of colours favoured by the old masters. The artist paints her works, which are monochromatic or contain few colours with bright red highlights, in oil, augmenting it with varnish glaze.