Navakas Mindaugas
g. 1952
Mindaugas Navakas, denying the established rules and seeking an alternative, expands self-legitimised possibilities. The artist’s vital world outlook is close to the rebellious youth movement of 1968. In the 1980’s, his associatively abstract granite sculptures, post-modernistic photomontages of imaginary artworks in the city and his first projects in public spaces audaciously broke the concept of decorative sculpture established at that time. Today, in the time of the consumer cult, the artist creating huge granite and steel sculptures for his own pleasure, not on commission, makes a challenge to the new life standards. In his work Navakas innovatively uses the rapidly renewing post-industrial technologies. They expand the field of artistic expression, materialise the premonitions of modern tensions in steel and silicon objects, sculptures on the water, images of dried plants, run-over cats and dogs, sound installations, slide projections of small visually suggestive items (crumpled paper scraps, corks) and fragments of live nature. For the artist the interaction of a three-dimensional object and its environment has a conceptual importance. The granite sculptures of ever increasing size acquire the shape of a shifting and opening-up object, and return to their original state – a granite rock becomes a constructional support for a sculptural object or the surface of a polished sculpture-to-be. Materialising his early photomontages, Navakas invades the urban space. He supports architectural objects of different stylistics by rusty steel arms, sticks an aggressive hook into a Stalinist façade, places a reconstructed silage tank in a park alley. The neo-brutal volume of his sculptures acquires the dimensions of the craving for power, irony, cruelty, weakness and fragility, all blended in human experience. Elona Lubyte, 2004