4.08. - 18.09. 2022
Latvian artist Edmunds Jaudzems' exhibition "Pants and other companions"
artist's first exhibition features a selection of portraits and
self-portraits, as well as various recurring motifs of striped pajama
bottoms, Tallink ships and shower faucets.
Not much is known about Edmunds Jaudzems’ origin. He was born in Bauska, and after 18 years in an orphanage, he has lived in the Jelgava branch of the Latvian Welfare Services Center. He has been drawing since 1991. According to activity supervisors, no one has ever really guided him. He always knows exactly what he wants to draw, what colors and materials he wants to use. Much of Edmunds' work is done while sitting on the spacious windowsill in his room. He shares the room with two companions.
The people he portrays are nursing home residents and staff, celebrities from magazines or politicians from TV news. He is fascinated by faces, facial expressions and changes that occur in a person throughout time. This can be particularly well observed through self-portraits. An important part of his works are drawings emerging from self-observation, some with surprising perspective techniques, for example depicting the legs from above. It is also interesting to observe how the artist frames people out of group photos, copying what is depicted in the picture together with the surroundings, be it the ear or the shoulder of a bystander.
The artist views the passage of time very freely. This can be seen in his portraits as well as in his series of annuals. With the help of this effective graphic series, Edmunds instead asks his peers where someone could be located or what they would do in one year or another.
One of the artist's obsessions is striped or checkered pajama pants, which he returns to depicting again and again. He must have several pairs of striped pajama pants!
Edmunds is also very sensitive to any kind of comments, whether about his appearance or his work.
exhibition is part of the project "Hidden Worlds Expanding",
which is part of the main program of Tartu 2024, which focuses on the
outsider art of Eastern Europe. We got to the work of Edmunds
Jaudzems thanks to the project's Latvian partner Sarma Freiberga,
with whom we visited the nursing home in Jelgava.
The exhibition is supported by the Cultural Endowment of Estonia and Tartu 2024.
Vallikivi and Eva Laantee Reintamm