MYKOLAS SAUKA

Goodness and health, 2018 

wood, staples, vinyl glue

Inspired by wooden folk sculpture and traditional Lithuanian architectural ornamentation - particularly small, spontaneous, religious-themed vernacular architectures characterized by the reuse of poor materials -, the sculptor Mykolas Sauka applied those principles to the realization of an installation made with recycled wood elements chosen for their expressive character. 
To create his work of art, Sauka firstly explored Savigliano and the surrounding areas, and then he identified his ideal ‘catchment area’ in the local fruit and vegetable market. 
The market has been chosen by the artist not only as a nerve centre of urban life and for its sensory prerogatives, but also as an anthropological field of observation. 
The result is a large sculpture made of the wooden elements obtained from fruit and vegetable crates thrown away after use. In order to give them new life and purpose, Sauka curved and consolidated them using glue and staples.  Particular attention has been drawn to those elements characterized by brands of farms from various Italian locations, as the artist judged those polychrome decals relevant for their narrative aspects and for their ‘exotic’ appeal. 
The shape and scale of the work were determined by the type and size of the wooden elements obtained from the boxes, and by the time allowed for its construction. 
The artist also intends the work as a reflection on the perception of the value - economic and symbolic - of these materials, in the comparison between the culture of the host country, Italy, and that of his country, Lithuania; where, like in many nations of the former Soviet bloc, the scarcity of resources and the recent memory of poverty have generated a widespread habit of recycling materials.

Mykolas Sauka  was born in Vilnius in 1989. He studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vilnius, where he lives and works. 

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