Is it worth painting a star?


Only a few painters decide to paint a starry sky, and painting a star is only for the masters of Christmas cards. The reason is very simple. A star is not a need nor a “value”, not a phenomenon nor a tool. A star is not a part of our triviality; it is as if while looking at it, we escape from the chain of our everyday pragmatics and see the purest thing within itself, a spark of a being[1]. The being of a star within-itself and for-itself is obvious. And if beauty coincides with being, a painted star is always less beautiful that the real one, because the latter has more being. It is meaningful enough by itself and has enough meaninglessness. Nevertheless it looks frightening for a man oppressed by everyday concerns. It is so because once he raises his head towards it, he realizes his own insignificance and an abyssal distance that separates him not from the star, but from the divine source that resides in him. A star is a reproach for everyone who is sinking in the dirt of the habitual, and also an incitement to alter our existence from time to time. Therefore it isn’t worth painting a star. It’s enough to just to look at it, and the star will tell everything we need to know and what we don’t want to know.


Arvydas Šliogeris, from Metaphysics of a potato, 2010


Happy are those ages when the starry sky is the map of all possible paths – ages whose paths are illuminated by the light of the stars. Everything in such ages is new and yet familiar, full of adventure and yet their own. The world is wide and yet it is like home

György Lukács, from The Theory of the Novel, (1916) 




Sky of Vilnius. For A. Šliogeris,watercolour on paper,‎ 80x68cm;          


Satellite, Rotterdam, Friday, ‎November ‎22, 2013, ‏‎12:45:17 PM, digital photograph, dimensions variable