Collage out of magazine paper pieces – Modern Lithuanian interpretation
Collage out of magazine paper pieces I brought to life – a contemporary interpretation of classical painting “The Reaper Girl” (1844), where the classical portrait of a modern Lithuanian girl is presented in the context of the present-day world.
The original painting of K. Rusiecki’s “The Reaper Girl” accurately portrays a typical Lithuanian girl of the XIX century: her surroundings, work, and clothing style of those times. “Because the main theme of my work is a modern-day woman, I decided to demonstrate the transformation of a Lithuanian girl from those times to the present day.”
HOW ‘MODERN LITHUANIAN’ WAS MADE
First, I have announced a contest on Facebook, where I was looking for a girl resembling the character from classical K. Rusiecki’s painting “The Reaper Girl.” The winner of the contest became Milvyde Arlauskaite. Later, Milvyde was painted in my studio with acryl on a 70 cm x 100 cm canvas.
Even though when working on the painting, I was trying to emphasize the similarities with the painting “The Reaper Girl” (both in composition and in colors), the presented interpretation is unusual and modern. The contemporary Modern Lithuanian girl looks like she is posing for a selfie: tilted head, puffed up lips, romantic look in the eyes, while the reaping hook of those times is replaced with the modern-day tool – a portable computer.
The “Modern Lithuanian Girl” portrait was enlarged to a 2 x 3 meter stand and became an interactive object of art at the World Lithuanian Youth Meeting (PLJS). The meeting participants were sticking tiny squared colored pieces of paper cut out of the magazines on the stand, and this was how the new creation was born – an interactive collage. The entirety of different cuttings created a new, unexpected picture: the hand of the Lithuanian girl is depicted from the facial fragments found in the magazines, part of the eye is filled with a clock dial, a piece from the magazine with a knee joint became the tip of the nose.
Collage out of magazine paper
The last strokes of the collage were set in my art studio. It took a total of 13 days of gluing work, while the collage comprises 5348 paper pieces of equal size. The most difficult part of the project was to select the pieces of the right shades. They had to sort through more than 15000 tiny squares of paper to ensure that the color gamma of the cuttings corresponds to the painted portrait’s colors and forms the figure of the painting’s character. The author of the idea is convinced that even though this work required a great deal of patience and thoroughness, at the same time, it was relaxing and a kind of meditation.