Stanislovas Marmokas, Joseph Stalin smile, 2013. Acrylic on canvas, 120 x 90 cm
This Thursday, March 21, 6 pm, the Review Room will introduce the diptych by Stanislovas Marmokas (born in 1988) consisting of the works Vlada Marmokiene.'s Smile (Vlados Marmokiene.s ypsena) and Joseph Stalin's Smile (Josifo Stalino ypsena).
These paintings are from the series A Human Smile (mogaus ypsena, 2013) which was started over a year ago, when Stanislovas took interest in the power of images to turn people into icons, and then transform the icons into meaningless ornaments. The first works from the series depicted laughing dictators - black and white works showed only mouths, and parts of the chin, nose and moustache, which made the persons recognisable only from the titles of the paintings or the shape of the moustache. Stanislovas believes that a natural and wide smile dispels the established image of a dictator and deiconises him. The diptych presented in Vartai Gallery takes the deiconisation to another level by comparing the smiles of Stalin and Stanislovas' grandmother who has suffered from the repressions of the dictator. However, personal stories and the relationship thereof do not aim to evoke sentiment, but to change the perspective of the viewer - what do Stalin's and Marmokiene.'s smiles mean? Which one has the advantage over the other?