What if an illusionist had powers bigger than pulling a rabbit out of a cylinder? Would he build cities in the sky, turn the landscape upside down, put a man in a bird’s nest and appoint the birds with human activities? – asks Lithuanian artist Ceslovas Cesnakevicius in his metaphorical visual series “An Illusionist’s World”, which follows the adventures of a crazy suited and hatted man across lands both green and white.
Ceslovas’s other project “Cloudscapes” shows a merging of earth and air. Complex human constructions like skyscrapers and trains reach the atmosphere. This series, according to the artist, is about the “relativity of reality and the temporariness of the material world.”
“I find it hard to talk of influences,” says Ceslovas. “Literature, music, movies, other artists, life itself. If I had to give one name, it would be Pieter Bruegel the Elder – Flemish Renaissance painter. He had everything in his paintings: aesthetics, stories, morals, different moods.”
“I don’t know if anybody cares anymore about what the artist wants to say with his work in modern society,” he continues. “There’s simply too much of everything, people don’t waste time on thinking about what they see, they click the thumbs up or down, and that’s it. Communication between the artist and the viewer, which 90% or more of the time happens on social media, is based on the viewer’s opinion rather than the artist’s intention. Even if I write a very straightforward message, the comments are mostly – ‘I think he means this or that…’ I’m ok with that, as this type of no-contact communication is the reality these days.”
Last year, Ceslovas came with “The Zoo” series, which has just had a huge exposition in Paris. It has a very clear and pure message – human to human tolerance. “The funny or sad thing about this is that,” adds Ceslovas, “when I started working on it, Western society was largely peaceful, but issues regarding terror attacks and migration cropped up over time and things became chaotic.”
You can check out the Zoo series on Bored Panda. Below you will find works from “An Illusionist’s World” and “Cloudscapes”. Ceslovas Cesnakevicius lives in Vilnius. His work has been exhibited in Panevezys and Klaipeda in Lithuania and apart from Paris, in London (Somerset House) abroad.
Images used with permission.