Aleksandra Voronkova, 4th year student of art criticism, 2011-11-11

In brief: Illustrated stories by artist Kęstutis Kasparavičius were presented in Kaunas, Eglės Gallery, till the 6th of November. The exhibition drew into the world of illusions and fairy-tales and reminded of the past when we were like those tales’ characters, jumping over pools.

K. Kasparavičius is now famous not only in Lithuania but also far away in Europe, America and Asia. Since 1984 he has worked as a freelance artist and illustrated about 60 books for children. Some of them are written by the artist himself.

K. Kasparavičius’s illustration characters smiled at the curious viewers in the exhibition. Illustrations, taken from such books as ‘Rabbit the Carrot the Great’, ‘Gardener Florencijus’, ‘The White Elephant’, ‘Silly Stories’, ‘Strawberry Day’, were displayed as a narration or the reminder of the story.

The majority of illustrations are executed in the classical, old-fashioned, nostalgic technique. Gentle watercolour brushstrokes, calm colours and precision are characteristic to illustrators since the oldest times.

The author most often depicts animals but there are also human beings or strangely modified characters. Images of nature are also important as an eloquent supplement to the character’s life.

The difference between the natural reality and fantasy is tiny in K. Kasparavičius’s stories, so it is easy to believe in the story even for adults. The stories conveyed are attractive because of little creatures, such as rabbits, foxes, moles, frogs, bears, hedgehogs, parrots and crocodiles, that all have something human like flaws and weaknesses.

It could be stated that K. Kasparavičius is the representative of the gentle style in Lithuanian illustration. His works calm down, give the sense of safety and do not evoke negative emotions.  The world of his dreamlike stories has no line between the reality and imagination, text and image; these stories involve everyone into the vortexes of unforgettable tales.

“Reading children’s books is very healthy. Good books for children are usually good for adults too. They encourage to keep the sense of humour and to avoid excessive seriousness”, - the artist says.

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