Romualdas Rakauskas: “Your works reveal your inside” 3

Interlocutor Vidmantas Kiaušas, 2013-09-05
Art photographer Romualdas Rakauskas. Photo by Milda Kiaušaitė

In brief: The conversation with the art photographer Romualdas Rakauskas takes place during the European Basketball Championship. The photographer is a passionate admirer of basketball, he has issued two albums with Romualdas Požerskis “Men of Žalgiris” (1987) and “Legendary Men of Žalgiris” (2011). The artist is asked what team of Lithuanian photographers he would rally in order to play basketball.

R.Rakauskas would choose Antanas Sutkus, Aleksandras Macijauskas, Romualdas Požerskis, Algimantas Aleksandravičius and himself to the team of photographers due to their original style and marked contribution to the Lithuanian art photography.

The photographer received the National Prize for the album “Romualdas Rakauskas. Photographs” (2009), which reflects the creative achievements of the artist well. The artist is asked to define his drive in youth despite the idelogically reglamented daily life.

According to R.Rakauskas, he is a child of social cultural meadows, and he never had to be secretive – he has always been light, poetical, optimistic although the life was not easy. “I lived without big internal and external conflicts, I was successful, was noticed and received awards. I did not do anything on purpose to please the authorities, such is my character and I did not try to be different. I could not and cannot take photos of homeless people at waste containers or a drunkard on a pavement. Such emotionally vulgar views are not for me. Such is life – some themes are attractive, and I distance from other themes,” the photographer says.

As for influences and impressions, the photographer states that they are more important at the beginning of the creative road, and now it is hard to surprise him. “During the golden times of the Lithuanian school of photography, I was influenced by the Czech photography a lot. I also loved Finns’ works – darkish Finnish landscapes rather than portraits or reportages. The example of Polish photographers showed what we should avoid,” A.Rakauskas reveals.

There are not many accidental moments in the photographer’s albums. Therefore, the artist is asked whether the “directed” background is more real than the bare reality.

“As I’ve said, two thirds of the album “In Bloom” are directed. I photograph “Book of Three Faces”, I visit artists and look how three plots could be chosen. Still, the photographer is not omnipotent, he can impose the idea he wants to implement. Aleksandravičius is right when he says that the main tool of the photographer is the tongue. One has to communicate actively, speak, create the atmosphere. Sometimes you direct, photograph, thank, the artist relaxes, starts talking freely and then you make the best and most real shot,” R.Rakauskas states.

The future album ”Book of Three Faces” is like the continuation of the album “Land of Inspiration”, which immortalised artists of various fields in their motherland. 130 artists is a lot to Lithuania, however, many famous names were still not included into the album.


P. S. The interview was illustrated with photographs from the third part of “Book of Three Faces” with the photographer’s consent.

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