Marius// My art is motivated by curiosity. I feel an urge to respond to current global issues, reflect time and situations I find myself in. I am interested in subjects that are universally human: identity, sexuality, social status, religious and political ideologies.
Pencil has been the first art media that I chose to code my experiences; by using symbolism and surrealistically fluid-anthropomorphic figures. My art practice involves a conceptual investment in objects and images, just as any religion invests in its icon and the ritual use of objects. Exploration of performance allowed me to express situations that otherwise would not be accepted growing up in post-soviet Lithuania. The necessity to step out of my comfort zone is an inseparable part of my creative process. I am also interested in artistic-social investigation. In my art practice, I encourage myself to address criticism of consumer behaviour and undertake wider explorations of the Anthropocene.
I am interested in the pre-Christian pagan religion as well as Lithuanian oral tradition, folklore and mythology. I identify myself with animism belief that everything has a soul or spirit. I believe in individuality and singularity, that has raised my current interest in post-humanism, rational secularism. Religion provides a perfect ideological supplement to capitalism. Capitalism creates our consumer society and economic structures, where the only measure of progress is always more: the surface and quantity became more important than quality.
Contemporary art has become a part of popular culture, with artists becoming stars, seeking fame and validation by triggering primitive human desires to influence consumers to act impulsively and irrationally.
Religion is broadly seen by many progressive thinkers to be the cause of intolerance and war. I take a critical approach towards religion and its attitudes towards women and sexuality. I believe that human rights should come before religious rights or conservative traditions. Questioning and critical analysis are the most important aspect of my art practice, which is provocative and engages the audience. I believe in a society where everyone has equal rights and freedom of expression. If I do not know the answer to my concerns, I listen to my conscious inner voice to find what is truly right. If I still do not know – I keep asking questions of myself and others until I find it.
Facebook // MariusLeaf