Photo by Tomas Urbelionis.

Tomas Urbelionis was born in Lithuania, which was then part of Soviet Union. He lived in an industrial city and his parents were factory workers. He’s been playing basketball since he was a teenager and his only dream was to become professional player. And actually this dream almost came true – he was very good at it and was picked to play at Lithuania’s National Junior League. However, he had to quit everything due to health issues. Right around the time he quit basketball he visited a friend who just happened to be a photo artist who worked with Zenit. These photos mesmerized him – it was like nothing he’s seen before. So he borrowed the camera and started taking photos of himself dressed as a female. That’s how he discovered photography and the art world and the rest as they say is history. “I’m not generally interested in photography from viewers’ perspective. Never explored other photographers’ works that much, besides maybe Helmut Newton’s. However, photography became my lifestyle with time and I can’t imagine my life without it. And I’m not that much into fashion either. Just been dressing in black since I was a teenager.” Urbelionis says, “I don’t have one favorite quote that suits all my works. It depends on each work individually. And everything depends on circumstances. I’m not the kind of person that has some “motto” in general, I guess. But I do find inspiration in Helmut Newton, D. Lynch and Alejandro Jodorowsky, and the women in their lives and life in general.” When it comes to his style the signature is the mix of glamour and trash. “I came up with the idea for this series quite unexpectedly. I was just walking with my friend in the forest in 2014 and I had my camera with me. Suddenly I thought she should lay on the ground half naked and play dead or unconscious (as if someone had thrown her from the car or something) for the photo. That’s how the first photo of this series was born. I understood I like the idea and result when I printed out the photo. I liked it, because it felt like there’s some mystery to it and it’s thought provoking. I’ve always preferred artworks with idea and mystery behind them, not only just plain visual beauty. Of course, for me best result is when both idea and beauty are combined. So, I started taking more and more photos for this series. And recently, after all these years, I came up with another interpretation about the meaning behind this, but I would like to keep it a secret.”

Story by Martina Goulding.