The artist says that he wanted to present the Lithuanian traditional folk art to the US public in a modern way.
“On the occasion of the centenary, we wanted to introduce Lithuania to America so that to make people more aware of Lithuania. Art is one of the best forms of presentation,” Bartkus told BNS by phone from the US capital.
The idea was to create a project that could travel across different cities in America, be easily disassembled, lightweight, but at the same time large and eye-catching. All those people will see the installation, they will see Lithuania,” the artist said.
“This is a modern interpretation of Lithuanian classics,” he added.
The six-meter-high installation will stay at the historic Union Station building for 24 hours before leaving for Philadelphia and Chicago and visiting at least a couple of spaces in New York.
It will later travel to Lithuania to be displayed on a permanent basis at Viktoras Butkus’ MO Museum in Vilnius.
It is expected that at least 100,000 commuters will see the art installation in Washington.
Lithuanian Ambassador Rolandas Krisčiūnas was among those present at the opening ceremony in Union Station.
Bartkus has lived and worked in New York since 1991. He holds personal exhibitions and takes part in group expositions in the US, Lithuania, Austria, Poland, Switzerland and other countries. His works are included into the collections of the US National Portrait Gallery, Lithuanian National Gallery of Art and also private collections.