In the painting series Hotel Rooms and Last Minute Offers I combine motifs from classical painting with images taken from contemporary advertising. The history of Western painting is very important to me, not just because of its formal elements – the surface, which also constitutes the formal depth of painting – but also because of the underlying narratives, which often reflect values we might call eternal. If we look at classical painting as part of the visual culture of the past, we will be reminded of popular phenomena in our times – such as the colourful images in travel agents’ catalogues. Hotels are, in fact, perfect symbols of time and temporality. Their interiors may even be designed to formally resemble the imaginary spaces of classical painting: the Flemish Primitives’ tiled and generously lit studies, Titian’s bedrooms, Rembrandt’s cavernous halls. In my paintings I expand such familiar interiors with a few details from contemporary hotels, such as TV sets, serial furniture and the typical double beds, to create an ‘all inclusive’ vision of a new reality – both impersonal and illusory.
Artwork photographed by V. Ilčiukas