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Educational Photo Exhibition “WILD WILD WEST” by Zinas Kazenas-Zika

2013 October 4 @ 17:00 - 2013 November 10 @ 17:00

This cowboy culture-inspired exhibition “Wild Wild West” by Zinas Kazenas is a part of the educational program “Reflections of the American Culture at Janina Monkute-Marks Museum” funded by the U.S. Embassy in Lithuania. All visitors were invited to come in the cowboy clothing. During the opening a competition was held, and Asta, Curator of the Museum, was voted the best dressed in the cowboy clothing. Many prizes in the quiz including questions related to the U.S. and cowboy-culture were awarded. People were very interested in the exhibit and listening to witty stories of the author. The exhibition presented photographs, cowboy accessories and portraits painted by the author himself.

Z.Kazėnas received his photographer’s diploma in the sixties. Without any doubt this has influenced the range of his artistic work – already at the beginning of his creative path he manifested himself in such fields as advertising, journalism and artistic photography. Today his “account” is full of postcards, artistic envelopes, advertisements and cultural posters, booklets, tourist albums. In 1988 – 1991 his archives were filled up with the comprehensive photo chronicle of the revival and struggle of Lithuania.

As a schoolboy Z. Kazenas became captivated by painting and later his creative energy was devoted to experiments with colors in photography, photographics and painting. His one man’s color photography exhibitions about Lithuania and foreign countries traveled all over the world. Paralelly Zinas Kazenas carried out his experiments with photographics  e.g. a picture is printed from a negative which is artificially formed using colors on the transparent basis. Inner energy of the abstract color masses, “sound” and impression of image deepness – these are the main components of the artist’s works decorative charm.

Painting is Z. Kazenas second passion which intensified considerably in the middle nineties.

The artist visited all continents (except Poles and Australia), a great number of countries and isles, solely their names rouse many exotic images (Hawaii, Japan,Senegal,Polynesia, Syria, Republic of South Africa, Mauritania…).At the same time he associated with different people, got acquainted with their traditions, customs, culture. During these travels “Zinas – the photographer” fixes events, “Zinas – the painter” collects visual information and energy for further creation, “Zinas – the traveler” adds one more unusual object to his collection of curiosities covering shelves of his studio.

Z.Kazenas exhibitions which were based either on paintings and photographs have visited many Lithuanian towns and cities as well as foreign countries. According to the author himself the most successful exhibitions were held in Germany, France, Senegal, USA, Switzerland, Poland, Italy, Finland, Hungary and Spain. 

He was especially successful in the USA, which he visited in 1986 on invitation of “President’s United State – Soviet Exchange Initiative” and “Artists for Peaceful Coexistence’ (Falmouth, Massachusetts0. That year he for the first time presented his meter size photo abstractions. This exhibition (80 abstract photocompositions and half a hundred colour photographs on Lithuania) were displayed in Washington, Chicago, Boston, (Harvard University), Vermont, Cape Code. The author thinks, that Perestroika that meantime started in the Soviet Union was of great help. Apart from his personal exhibitions Zinas Kazėnas carried a big collection of children paintings, which participated in the action of cultural exchange in Massachusetts.

Later Zinas Kazėnas visited USA several more times. Impressions from his travels were later transformed into photo and art exhibitions: “Monterey bay and Butterflies”, “One hour in Chicago“, “Las Vegas”, “Buterflies”, Women”, “Wine, woman and bugs”. They were displayed in Lithuania and the USA.

The author has been collecting materials for the exhibition Wild Wild West for several years. Each time returning home from the USA he managed to bring something new. There are a lot of pictures, heaps of photos being stored in the artist’s study and this exhibition is only a small part of the existing archive. “America is an extremely large country, which has enormous resources of natural, cultural and historical heritage” – states the author.

One could grudge Zinas Kazėnas his artifice while organising and presenting his exhibitions this one being no exception. Wooden boxes, used for works transportation, as if just now taken from the old-time train, metamorphosed into part of the exhibition. They are used to lay out charming pretties, redolent of the Wild West. By the way, the bigger part of the frames has been also carried from America.

In the short run Zinas Kazėnas plans to organize some more personal topical exhibitions on the USA (“Rodeo”, “Grand Canyon”) and at least once to go down the Mississippi by “Mark Twain” boat.