Raimundas Slizys (1952 - 2008)
Tragically died on the 21st of February, 2008 of cancer.
An article appeared recently by John Windsor, investment journalist, in which he compiled a checklist for artistic commercial success, including prolific output, a role in history and an artistic movement and backing from powerful galleries and collectors. This article provides a perfect demonstration of why Slizys was such a successful artist.
Firstly, he is prolific. He painted constantly. his paintings selling just about as fast as he could produce them. He had a solo exhibition every year since Lithuanian independence and sometimes an entire exhibition is sold before it's on the walls.
Historically, he was a prominent member of a group of artists expressing dissent and leading up to independence from Russia in 1991 and thus is assured of a place in the history of Lithuanian art. Slizys' artwork does hang in at least two major public galleries that I know of and is in the collection of at least one wealthy and prominent Lithuanian collector, thus forging his way into new markets around the world.
During the occupation in the 70s, official art was heavily controlled. Works were required to serene, and usually in the classical style. The popularity of Slizys' grotesque caricatures was a public outcry against convention and an act of resistance to the Soviets. Slizys did not hide behind the mythological context of many of his contemporaries, but openly addressed the troubles of the period and his reaction to them.
Paintings by this artist: