Žilvinas Kempinas. Portraits–Fossils
In spring 2023, after more than twenty years, the mask workshop by Žilvinas Kempinas will be extended and the masks will be exhibited at MO Museum!
Žilvinas Kempinas is one of the best known contemporary Lithuanian artists, living and working in New York. In 1996, Kempinas organized a plaster mask making workshop and held an exhibition entitled Portraits-Fossils in the center of Vilnius. During the workshop, plaster masks were cast of friends and acquaintances, most of whom are renowned Lithuanian painters, directors, sculptors, actors, and composers. Portraits-Fossils combines prints with the portrait genre, evoking death masks usually created to commemorate the deceased. But Kempinas sought to created portraits of living people – his friends in the artistic community. Of the considerable number of masks he created, a process recorded by film director Gintas Smilga, only a few subjects have kept their own images over the subsequent decades.
After more than twenty years, the mask workshop will be extended and the masks will be exhibited at MO Museum. In the context of today, these traditional silent plaster masks will reveal a changed time: the culture of the selfie.