The principal theme of the young Latvian painter Janis Avotins (born 1981) is as clear as it is essential: human presence and its marked fundamental solitude. In all of his paintings, the figures are solitary, thrown back on their own resources, as it were, and are mostly tiny in relation to their spatial context. His paintings seem to be contemporary portrayals of human existence – portrayals which, despite their seemingly fortuitous character, have something akin to predestination as their theme. The ambivalence and vulnerability of modern life are underscored in particular by the blurred contours and soft colouration which also characterize his paintings. Janis Avotins, who lives and works in Riga, applies his colours so delicately that the texture of the canvas itself becomes an integral part of the paintings, making a not insignificant contribution to their atmospheric effect. The human figures are almost as unclearly defined as their surroundings, as though they have simply been breathed onto the canvas. Janis Avotins' paintings are scenes of tranquillity and timelessness, like the momentarily captured sequences of a dream. When looking at these paintings, we cannot but feel that we are staring into our own inner being.
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