You’d never guess what Lithuania-born Inga Guzyte’s sculpture-like artworks are made of. Got it yet? Broken skateboards are Guzyte’s “thing” – she sits down with Wonderland to discuss the fun new concept.

When and how did your artistic career begin?

I had to travel quite a long way to find what I was looking for, and my journey is still ongoing, but on a different level. At the beginning I was looking for my own voice in the world of art and now I want my voice to blossom. As far as I can remember, I’ve been always a creative child, but the real passion for art I discovered coming to Santa Barbara. There I felt free to combine the things that were important to me: skateboarding and art. I dedicated most of my time to searching for the best way to express myself. I was born in Lithuania and grew up in Germany, where I got introduced to skateboarding. From there I went to California to study art. In the back of my mind, I wanted to design skateboards but in the end my creative being took another direction – which eventually became my own personal language. I was positively overwhelmed with the greatness of the artists and art I got introduced to while in US. I discovered a whole new world of art coming from Lithuania where art has been quite invisible.

When and how did you discover skateboarding?

I’m absolutely fascinated with the idea of a skateboard – a wooden structure that [enables people] to fly or float in the air. If this wooden being is made with a lot of passion and dedication it becomes a masterpiece! Skateboarding is not only attractive but also addictive, in a good way. It definitely left an impression on me, it gave me a direction into the world of art.

What message does your work convey?

My work deals a lot with the skateboarding culture. It also includes my experience with people and situations outside the skateboarding world. It also deals with every day life, like friendships, habits (good or weird), strange and uncomfortable feelings. All of this is puzzled together in form of comic-like characters made out of recycled skateboards. I also wish my characters could tell every story in a happy manner, full of positive attitude no matter what.

Any exhibitions planned?

Several of them: in June my work will be part of a group show in Santa Barbara. Also, a solo show is coming up this autumn in Vienna and another group show in December in Zurich.

What are you working on at the moment?

Currently, I am finishing a piece called “Sumo-Chan”. It’s inspired by my Japanese friend Jin, who has been away from his own country for a while now. The pretty big and intricate piece represents culture, grace, commitment, dedication, friendship and the feeling of acceptance in a very playful way. “Sumo-Chan” is a superhero-like character, who gracefully rises above a multicultural city to keep and enjoy the peace.

Words: Julija Kaselyte