24.05. - 29.08.2021
Self-taught artist Juris Mihels from Latvia
or Juritis, Mihels lives in Skujene parish, Amata municipality in
Latvia. He spends his days doing farm work in the middle of the
forests and recently helping out with the construction of local
was born on 31 August 1961. He was the eldest of the six children in
his family. When Juritis was still a young child, his stepfather once
injured him so badly that he needed intensive care for months. In his
own words, he was forced to study at different boarding schools due
to the difficult family situation. From that period, Juritis can
proudly present numerous diplomas for various sports events.
came to Juris’ life 25 years ago, when he was baptised as an
Orthodox Christian in the name of the Apostle Andrew and settled down
in the village near the Orthodox church. Juris mainly paints
churches, and occasionally adds his other favourites –
boats, horses, and off-road vehicles.
can be happy or get offended like a child. He likes to observe
nature, birds, and animals, and listen to fairy tales on the radio
every evening. After the fairy tale, there are children’s songs on
the radio, and he always sings along. He is delighted when he sees
churches, and he dreams of them. When he is painting a new picture,
he often says it is the kind of church he had seen in his dream the
night before. This way, what he sees in real life and what appears in
his dreams combine into unique works of art, in which the variability
of similar scenes and the abundance of works is amazing. To
make art, he uses all the available materials like, for example,
household packaging waste – he paints on the other side of these.
In his home his cheerful paintings decorate the walls at the
fireplace, the edges of walls, and doors. Juritis
says that as soon as he picks up his brush, his headaches and anxiety
addition to paints and brushes, Juritis also has a checked notebook,
in which he writes poems in pencil or ball-point pen. He says he can
also read poems without the notebook – just like that, right away,
about anything, anytime and anywhere.
The exhibition is supported by Estonian Cultural Endowment.