Antanas Sutkus, Gintaras Cesonis (ed.), Willaim A. Ewing (preface)

Lietuvos Zmones / People of Lithuania! - A CLASSIC BOOK!


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"Sutkus’s series People of Lithuania is considered one of his most important works. It is a continuing project to document the changing life and people of Lithuania. Working at the time when Lithuania (as the Lithuanian SSR) was part of the Soviet Union, Sutkus focused on black and white portraits of ordinary people in their everyday life rather than the model citizens and workers promoted by Soviet propaganda. Sutkus had an opportunity to spend time with Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir in 1965 when they visited Lithuania. One image, taken against the white sand of Nida, is highly regarded as capturing Sartre’s ideas."

"Sutkus is a people, not a things photographer, even though there are always plenty of "things" that reveal the rough order of life. He is very interested in what we often call a "daily struggle" - how do those, whom he meets on the way, live. Sutkus never hid behind the camera and the subjects he photographs often look right into the lens. When this happens we become like a sort of witnesses of silent interrogation. And it is paradoxical - we too are interrogated. Sutkus has a rare gift, which only a few other photographers have: he is able to smoothly and naturally blend with environment. Children, young or old people, fellow artists, politicians, city, country... Often people look like they are waiting for something, or maybe just stopped for a second... It seems that they have stopped because of him, as if to share the moment of openness with this perfect, compassionate stranger." (William A. Ewing)

"A Classicist in the great tradition of 20th-century street photography, Antanas Sutkus is widely regarded as Lithuania's greatest photographer, her Cartier-Bresson. His focus on children will also remind viewers of Helen Levitt, the crucial difference being one of place. Levitt captures New York City's grit and melancholy whereas Sutkus depicts Lithuania's rural, small-town charm, innocence, and natural beauty. Starting with the lovely cover portrait, every photograph in the collection is about a child or has a child in it. Of course, the camera loves children. Still, Sutkus' photographs of children are not sentimental. They are, instead, genuinely affecting, and will leave one moved upon first encountering them. Through them, Sutkus captures everyday life in his beloved Lithuania with clarity of vision and profound empathy." (Modernrare)

about the photographer (*1939, in Kluoniškiai, Kaunas):
Sutkus studied journalism at Vilnius University (1958 –1964.) He is a renowned Lithuanian photographer and recipient of the Lithuanian National Prize (1983) and Order of the Lithuanian Grand Duke Gediminas. He was one of the co-founders and a President of the Photography Art Society of Lithuania (Lithuanian: Lietuvos fotografijos meno draugija).

Antanas Sutkus' 'People of Lithaunia'-Serie gehört zu den Klassikern der Fotogeschichte, auch wenn der Meister der Straßenfotografie, als litauischer CARTIER-BRESSON bezeichnet, ist er hierzulande noch nicht allen Fotobuch-Interessierten hinreichend bekannt.
Seine Art, Normalbürger zu fotografieren, war so gar nicht im Stil der damals vorherrschenden (und gewünschten) Propaganda-Fotografie in der damaligen Teilrepublik der ehemaligen Sowjet-Union (wie auch die anderen baltischen Staaten, Lettland & Estland).
1965 freundete sich SUTKUS in Nida, mit Jean-Paul SARTRE und Simone DE BEAUVOIR an , die sein Denken beeinflussten.
Sein Fokus auf Kinder ist mit Arbeiten Helen LEVITTs zu vergleichen. Während jene mit ihrer Kamera die Melancholie im großstädtischen Treiben New Yorks einfängt, zeigt SUTKUS Litauens Kleinstadt-Charme, Unschuld und die Schönheit der Natur. SUTKUS' Kamera liebt Kinder, ohne dass seine Kinder-Fotografien sentimental werden.

Ein toll gedruckter, sehr empfehlenswerter Band, der jeden Cent wert! ist

Über den Fotografen Antanas SUTKUS (*1939, in Kluoniškiai, Kaunas):
Antanas SUTKUS studierte von 1958-1964 Journalismus an der Universität von Vilnius.
Er ist wohl Litauens bekanntester Fotograf und erhielt bereits 1983 den Liatauischen Staatspreis und den 'Orden of the Lithuanian Grand Duke Gediminas':
Er ist einer der Begründer und späterer Präsident der 'Photography Art Society of Lithuania ('Lietuvos fotografijos meno draugija').