Jūratė Kluonė, Write with right, 2012, oil on canvas, 135 x 90 cm
The style of painting reminds of skilful Soviet “academic” realism; the canvas is light and transparent, like washed away memories, with lots of uncovered space; while warm ochre colours create a feeling of an intimate family picture, which only enhances the subject – the crimes of and the resistance against the Soviet regime.
About her series of paintings A Painful Story of a Family the authors says: “I always wonder why I keep painting my parents? Why am I so obsessed with the story of their lives? <…> I am a child of political prisoners of the Soviet era. My mother spent 10 years in prisoner camps in Moldova, while my father was in Vladimir Prison. Until the collapse of the Soviet Union, they both lived with “previous conviction” stamps in their passports and bore the stigma of “criminals” for almost 50 years. The physical traumas received during the war and the years of imprisonment left their footprint.”
Very often, patriotism in art looks cheap, like political propaganda or social engagement, but in case of Jūratė Kluonė it is a painful experience and therefore real and functional.