Painted in 1503 by the Italian Renaissance artist Leonardo da Vinci, Mona Lisa is described as "the best known, the most visited, the most written about, the most sung about, the most parodied work of art in the world" (Wikipedia). A technology-fuelled version of the portrait can be visited in the campus of Kaunas University of Technology (KTU). In fact, it’s one of the most photographed objects of the campus!
The mural – full name “Dadaist Mona Lisa in the 21st Century” – on a firewall of one of the dorms was created by Linas Kaziulionis also known as kart7. It’s not his only collaboration with the university – in fact, you can spot a couple of his other works on facades of buildings belonging to KTU in the centre of the city. More recently, he painted Jonas Jablonskis, the legendary Lithuanian language guru, on the walls of KUHNE, a pulled pork joint. More works by kart7 can be found on his Facebook page.
Same as the original Mona Lisa who’s locked up in Louvre, Paris, the Kaunastic version has her own secrets. As the direction of the university suggest, her secrets are, in fact, interactive, as technological solutions have been added to the mural.
Residents and visitors of the campus are welcome to visit monaliza.ktu.edu and solve a few math problems posted on it. Lucky mathematicians can then change the colour of Mona Lisa’s glasses which are made of LED tubes. She’ll then take a picture!
Meet the 21st century Mona Lisa in a video produced by students of KTU (English subtitles available):
Works by kart7 are part of the ever-growing map of street art in Kaunas. More about the subject can be read in the Kaunas Street Art Guide published by NYKOKA festival. It’s available in our e-shop!