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In 2016 in the world's most famous portrait competition, the BP Portrait Award, which is organized annually by the National Portrait Gallery (NPG) in London, Laura Guokė became the winner in the Travel Award category for the painting portrait Petras  (acrylic on canvas, 146 x 200 cm) In 2019 Laura Guoke was one of the six portrait artists and BP Portrait Award winners from around the world who were featured in the BBC World News GMT documentary Portrait of the Artist ( dedicated to the 30th anniversary of the BP Portrait Award competition. After this competition, the portrait paintings Rima and Muhammed Ahmed (acrylic, canvas, 150 x 100 cm) and Monika (acrylic, canvas, 150 x100 cm), created by the artist in the Ritsona refugee camp (Greece), where the artist not only painted, but also volunteered was exhibited at National Portrait Gallery, London and Royal Albert Memorial Museum, Art Gallery Exeter, Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens. The portraits were acquired  by the MO Museum in Vilnius, from whose collection for the exhibition Why It's So Hard to Love, (2020-2021) they were chosen by the curators - Dutch multimedia artist Saskia Boddeke and director Peter Greenaway.
No less impressive are other international evaluations of Laura Guokė's work: in 2018 her painting Boy from Aleppo (oil, acrylic, canvas, 150 x 100 cm) was awarded the First prize at the international competition of the Three Bridges Foundation (Poland), and in 2021 at the Locarno Film Festival (Switzerland) the artist was awarded the International Special Prize of Independent film critics prize Boccalino d'Oro 2021 (Premio Boccalino d'Oro 2021 Locarno) for the artistic painting and video project The Three Worlds.  Her most recent award is 1st prize in the category of Figurative Artworks at the Chianchiano Biennale (2022, Museo d’Arte di Chianciano, Italy). 
It seems that two layers weave together in her artworks: enigma of human existence explored by the artist by going deep into subconscious processes through self-contemplation, philosophical reflections; and socially relevant and sensitive topics (refugees, war, woman's place in society, etc.). It is no coincidence that some of the works of art created by the artist few years ago (as for e.g., Destructed Universe, 2021; The Room of Choice, 2015) today may be perceived as almost prophetic, as the sense of the approaching threat to the world, the Apocalypse. Nevertheless, the author's disposition is rather calm as she believes that the evil is a mere set-off to the good that is rendered by artwork. 
Originality of Laura Guokė's artwork is predetermined not only by her engaged civic stance, her unique vision of the world but also by her specific visual language. Figuratively, it could be defined as a conceptual documentary which is based on both, the principles of classical historical art and their interpretation answering the contemporary concept of art of the 20th century. On the one hand, the principles of figurative (figural) painting: volume and space, linear perspective and effective as though in the paintings by Caravaggio modelling of three-dimensional form by light and shadow interrelation are close to the artist. On the other hand, Laura Guokė who professionally manages not only an academic drawing, classical painting technique, also uses a digital photography as a primary material. Nevertheless, the base of her works of art is not an enlarged copy of a photographic image, but the author's drawing which in the process of creation becomes the nuanced impasto painting. Therefore, unlike the label of photorealism, hyperrealism and superrealism often attached to the artist, she does not simulate the photographic image but creates a new reality which is the reflection of her inner sense based on the close life observation. 
The audience of the artwork by Laura Guokė is required not only concentration but also some intellectual background. Whereas those who are astounded by the artist's works due to their incredible image vividness, the illusion of reality close to 3D expression, should remember one often forgotten simple truth that each work of art is a newly created world.

Art critic dr. Danute Zoviene

Επαγγελματίας γραφίστρια, έχει λάβει τα πιο σημαντικά διεθνή βραβεία για τους πίνακες ζωγραφικής της και έργα που συνδυάζουν ζωγραφική και βιντεοπροβολές: στο διάσημο BP Portrait Award 2016 (αντικαταστάθηκε από το Herbert Smith Freehills Portrait Award από το 2024), που διοργανώνεται κάθε χρόνο από το National Portrait Gallery (NPG) στο Λονδίνο, η Laura Guokė ήταν η νικήτρια του Travel Award για το πορτρέτο της Petras (ακρυλικό σε καμβά, 146 x 200 cm), και ως μία από τις έξι καλλιτέχνες στον κόσμο που κέρδισαν το βραβείο, παρουσιάστηκε στο ντοκιμαντέρ του 2019 του BBC, Portrait of an Artist. Μετά από αυτόν τον διαγωνισμό, δημιούργησε πορτραίτα στον προσφυγικό καταυλισμό Ριτσώνας (Ελλάδα), όπου η καλλιτέχνης όχι μόνο ζωγράφισε, αλλά και τα πρόσφερε εθελοντικά, τα οποία εκτέθηκαν στο National Portrait Gallery, στο Λονδίνο και στο Royal Albert Memorial Museum, στην Art Gallery Exeter, στην Scottish National Portrait Gallery, στο Edinburgh Sunderland Museum και στο Winter Gardens. Τα πορτρέτα αγοράστηκαν από το Μουσείο MO στο Βίλνιους, από τη συλλογή των οποίων επιλέχθηκαν από τους επιμελητές – την Ολλανδή καλλιτέχνης πολυμέσων Saskia Boddeke και τον σκηνοθέτη Peter Greenaway για την έκθεση Why It's So Hard to Love, (2020-2021).

Το 2018 της απονεμήθηκε το Πρώτο Βραβείο στον Διεθνή Διαγωνισμό Θεμελίωσης Τριών Γεφυρών (Πολωνία) για τον πίνακα της Αγόρι από το Χαλέπι (λάδι, ακρυλικό σε καμβά, 150 x 100 cm). Αργότερα βραβεύτηκε με το Ειδικό Βραβείο Ανεξάρτητων Κριτικών Κινηματογράφου Premio Boccalino d'Oro 2021 Locarno στο Locarno Film Φεστιβάλ (Ελβετία) για το έργο καλλιτεχνικής ζωγραφικής και βίντεο Three Worlds (ζωγραφική Pieta και δύο βίντεο, 17 λεπτά. 13 δευτ. καθε). Το πιο πρόσφατο βραβείο της ήταν το Πρώτο Βραβείο στην κατηγορία Εικαστικά Έργα στην Chianciano Biennale (Museo d'Arte di Chianciano, Ιταλία).

Art critic dr. Danutė Zovienė

©Jorge Herrera , Three Bridges Foundation,Ingrida Mockute, Olesia Kasabova

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