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Rimantas Šulskis (1943 - 1995)

Rimantas Antanas Šulskis was born on the 3rd of July, 1943 in Kaunas. 1963 he finished Kaunas 2nd secondary school. After school he worked in Kaunas Pramprojektas for some time. From 1964 to1967 he soldiered. In 1967-1968 he worked in Kaunas industry and construction projection institute as a technician – draughtsman. In 1968 – 1974 he studied in the institute of Art in Vilnius, faculty of Visual art, department of Sculpture. In 1974 he graduated from the institute by getting a qualification of sculptor – pedagogue. In 1975 – 1989 he worked in children art school in Kaunas.

„He did not study well in a secondary school; as teachers sometimes say about such pupils:“a good kid, but a bad pupil“.

He soldiered for three years, and during this time he never came come, but he would write optimistic letters home. Very sensitive.

Very shy, calm, he shirked boasting, advertizing himself and did not want to speak about himself. He would not speak about his works and would not explain them. He would just say:”One has to create art and every viewer has to understand what is here… The artist searched for something which he did not know himself. While creating you state your course, follow what you imagine and find…”. “Bird was his image, like a symbol of freedom..." 

  Antanas Šulskus, sculptor’s father


"He enjoyed sports activities, was very tall, sportslike, not an upstart, but he would not lag behind his class. He was silent, calm, odd and had a company of his own out of school. During breaks he would read books. He would read them with his head bent, that’s why classmates would call him “a rider without a head”. He was not a member of the young Communist league – he stated: “my beliefs would not allow me to do it”.

"He did not like big companies, would not go to any meetings, and would not participate anywhere. He was born that way and did not try to change… For this reason he was desliked. He sticks in many throats, and was an obstacle for security all the time. He would hide “Catholic chronicles”, security members carried out a search in his house and found Sacharovas’ book. It could be connected with R. Kalanta events. At those times many searches were carried out…”

He could hardly get into exhibitions; in the beginning his works would be rejected. He was distressed about it, it does not matter how closed he was, he still desired for appreciation, evaluation”.

 „(...) He was in a big hurry before death and worked even when his hands would be constricted. (...) He was resistant in his creation. Rimas challenged both Soviet era and on the whole the fate of a mortal man.

Aušra Marija Šulskienė, sculptor’s wife  

 „He was very forbearing and was not afraid to take responsibility. A dissident and the only one from the artists that was against authorities in an open form. He was like hell hard working.

Very clear things of will – he did not make any allowances for himself, and did not pay any attention to daily trivia. He had a clear purpose (a rare case – a man has a purpose) and pursued it, uncommon man.

Nobody was able to get into his soul. He did not like to seek console with others, listen to other people whimper, he would start helping at once. He had unrestrained sense of humour, a few words was enough to burst out laughing”…

He was not a Bohemian man. Loved his work fanatically and continued his activity after the institute. He did not pay attention to his health, was patient, and could suffer anything through. He did not like snivellers, whining, had no sentiments.

Before the death, knowing what destiny awaited him, he tried to realize and speak his mind as fast as he could. He started speaking about the essence of life differently, there appeared motives of a bird, a tree and etc. – convergence of a man and nature…”

Stasys Žirgulis, sculptor’s fellow-student

„Being in the army he lost his health (worked in construction, channeled). Rimantas Šulskis suffered from the Soviet authorities. He made friends with a dissident Balys Gajauskas. A search was carried out in his home, he was investigated (they found Solzenytzin writings).

He got an unheated studio in Šančiai and forged his “Copper kingdom” there. He worked every day: forged and forged until his death. His vision weakened but he continued working even with failing health.

His whole life was his creative works. Always serious, concentrated, he was inspired by german culture; he read a lot, in german too. He had a unique sense of humour, like making jokes but was serious person, not a raver or a cloun.

He firmly meditated on his ideas, nurtured them, said that work has to be done carefully, efforts and knowledge of one’s craft are very important. He was simply a man of work.

Rimantas was the kind of artist that is rare; he did not spend a day without without forging, modelling, or just work… He almost died with a hammer in his hands”.

Prof. Edmundas Saladžius, sculptor’s friend

"He would not try to criticize; he did it very cautiously, was tolerant, and would not impose his will on others. He was a forceful man without any doubts. Pedantic, german type. At the end of his life started moulding "a la prima".

Danielius Sodeika, sculptor’s disciple

"I remember meeting Rimantas in Vilnius street when he was severely ill. There was enough to look into the eyes of this man, feel warm and firm shake of his hand and I immediately understood banality of any words, so that intended words of comfort got stuck somewhere in my throat. Power was radiating from all of his being, he did not receive any pity because was stronger spiritually than all of us. Rimantas acknowledged only soulish talk and would allow only a few happy ones to enter his circle of aura. Friends would visit him in his studio. He would draw strength and understanding from his family and the last days in this world were cleared by communication with professor Juozas Kėdainis. They would meet on Sundays at Neris and Nemunas confluence near their favourite birch".

Violeta Jasevičiūtė, art critic