Meet the Lithuanian art collective Young Poor Artists. We’re bringing you an exclusive look into their latest exhibition and an interview with the four artists.
There sure are many young and poor artists, but there’s only one artist group which is ironic—and perhaps brave—enough to call itself like that. Young Poor Artists is an art collective based around Vilnius, focusing on both artistic and curatorial practice, founded at the beginning of the decade. With the videos, installations, and shows they stand behind, they successfully put the contemporary back into the Lithuanian art scene. Just recently, they held their annual Young Poor Artists Show, from which you can find photos and videos right below. Apart from that, we asked them a couple of questions about their art, their latest show, and upcoming plans, so keep on reading!
First of all, could you please tell us who exactly are Young Poor Artists and how did you get together?
Young Poor Artists is a name for an artistic collaboration. In the beginning it was a community of 4 artists who would work together as an artificial individual. We were applying strict democratic rules for brainstorming, making art, developing and executing projects and also working as a creative company while being absolutely impersonal. It was interesting yet challenging. Primarily we were curious to handle various positions and jobs so we would often launch a new unofficial department. Young Poor Artists Supermarket, Galleries Cleaning department or Residency department to name a few. Our approach was not pragmatic but based on artistic research. Of course the name Young Poor Artists is extremely involving so soon people started to identify themselves with that. Particularly with the economical aspect. Bearing all in mind, this way Young Poor Artists ended as a brand for specific cultural context.
Young Poor Artists is quite an ironic name. How did you come up with it?
It came up by itself. We were entirely joking and laughing out of ourselves until one day someone felt the need to structure this Idée fixe.
Speaking of that, do you have any tips for young artists on how to not stay poor?
Wealth is immeasurable, it’s individual. One artist may work with a project worth many thousands and struggle because he needs few thousands more. And the other one may do just great because he purchased a pack of new oil paint. The idea behind poor is precisely conceptual. Artist’s wealth is his/her ideas and motivation. As long as you move forward nothing else matters. Artist is not entrepreneur but he/her may become one.
How would you describe your artistic style in 3 words?
What is the main source of inspiration for you?
Relationship with the environment.
Our current topic is “Tradition”. What is your favorite Lithuanian tradition, if you have any?
Every year during All Souls Day we get together and visit Rasos cemetery in Vilnius. Surrounded by a tremendous amount of candle lights we read poet’s Adam Mickiewicz work loud there.
Could you tell us a bit more about the current exhibition that just happened?
We just finished our third curatorial project Young Poor Artists Show. It’s a contemporary art festival covering many shows of emerging and known artists from different artistic fields. This year show was held in a former law firm. We apply the rule of intuitive game of associations and ideas. We combine and mix. What one artist mention another one expands. Not necessarily artists should feel comfortable with the context we ask them to participate but overall image should embrace the variety of meanings.
Apart from the mentioned exhibition, what else are you planning now?
Alongside some from Young Poor Artists work with fashion photography, animation, advertisement etc. As well we work with personal projects. But hopefully we will continue to celebrate holidays and have a good time!
We’re always looking for fresh new European artists to feature – is there someone you would like to recommend to us?
Find the images from Young Poor Artists Show that took place from Dec 9–13 in Vilnius below:
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