Monika Radžiūnaitė (b. 1992, Lithuania) is a painter who graduated from the Painting Department at Vilnius Academy of Arts in 2019. Her work is characterised by interpreting history, reviving elements of medieval and early renaissance paintings, and using cultural references in painting plots.
In her paintings, Radžiūnaitė talks about foolishness and the change in cultural meanings over the course of history. Her works are based on ignorance, foolishness, and/or error. This creative strategy as a conscious state of foolishness frees the artist from the need to know the true or historical meanings of the images or the circumstances of their formation. Radžiūnaitė raises questions about the possibility of reconstructing the Middle Ages and the limitations of such possibility determined by historical circumstances. Past, present, and future are difficult to measure and understand objectively, while cultural continuity and the influence of past epochs on contemporaneity can be deconstructed ironically. Radžiūnaitė’s paintings are full of Christian iconography, symbols and stories which are usually purposely mistaken and represented in a way that is more useful or relevant to the present. According to the author, people create an environment in which they can manipulate or comfortably rely on ignorance and unawareness. In this way, she creates new meanings and contexts while also raising the question of memory as a political, cultural or religious tool.
Monika Radžiūnaitė has held multiple solo exhibitions as well as participated in group shows. She currently lives and works in Vilnius where she is studying for a Master’s degree in Painting Studies at the Vilnius Academy of Arts.
Monika Radžiūnaitė talks about foolishness and the cultural differences between past, present and future which is difficult to measure and understand in any way. Her paintings are full of Medieval iconography, symbols and stories which are purposely mistaken and represented ironically. According to the author, the great desire to fill undocumented and forgotten history gaps causes mistakes that influence the perception of nowadays reality and beliefs. In this way people create an environment in which they can manipulate and rely on ignorance and unawareness of others. Author consciously chooses foolishness as a creative strategy that unleashes the need to know or understand the true meaning of images and symbols. In this way she creates new meanings and contexts. Late medieval ages for her is neither a tradition nor an identity, it‘s more like a difference and a rebus which she solves and reveals little by little when instead of abundance using fragments, instead of narration - a disturbance, instead of naming – a mistake.