Adomas Danusevicius (b. 1984) is a painter of the young generation who made a strong debut on the Lithuanian contemporary art scene already as a student. He held several solo shows in Lithuania and Denmark, and took part in dozens of group exhibitions. He was a finalist and award winner of the competition “Young Painter’s Prize” many times. Works by Danusevicius can be found in collections of contemporary art in Lithuania and abroad.
With his first solo exhibition in 2008, Danusevicius became distinguished in the context of Lithuanian painting by his unique creative style and the addressed themes. In his paintings, the artist depicts exclusively men: he was one of the first to analyse the theme of masculinity, seldom appearing in Lithuanian art, in a consistent way. The painter is interested in masculinity as a social and cultural structure, the meanings attributed to masculinity in society and culture, and male sexuality. In his paintings, the spheres of activity that are traditionally considered as belonging to men (e.g., sports, the army), and the relations between men in these spheres are represented. These typically male domains become a space for demonstration of power and projection of desire.
In his work Danusevicius puts to doubt the understanding of a “real” man prevailing in the heteronormative patriarchal society: supposedly he must be physically and emotionally strong, rational, economically independent, and heterosexual. The painter draws our attention to the tensions rising from the efforts to comply with this stereotype at any cost by imitating, acting, and disguising one’s true identity. Masculinity is revealed in his paintings as a manifold, changing, and undefined construct, which also includes various possible subnormal variations of masculinity and marginal sexual identities. Danusevicius analyses and criticises the customary standards of gender, the taboos of homophobic society, and the mechanisms of disciplining sexuality. Thus, in his compositions, political and confrontational aims coexist with personal stories, and his tendency to provoke and ironize alternates with intimate, chamber, mildly eroticised situations.
Danusevicius’s painting is a synthesis of refined high-quality visual expression, urgent tendencies of contemporary figurative art, and intellectual contents. It also shows a strong theoretical basis covering gender studies from the theory of sexuality by the French philosopher Michel Foucault to the contemporary insights of the theory of masculinity.