He was a tireless photographer of the common man in his native Lithuania; she was his beautiful muse and life partner. From their pet lion cub to their legendary parties, they lived life on the edge, until a sudden tragedy ended everything.
Beginning with his dramatic death jumping out of his apartment window, the latest in our On Photography series skilfully weaves the tale of Vitas Luckus, a larger than life photographer whose grip on the friends who adored him remains strong a quarter century after his death.
A self declared “mongrel” who never needed anything but a working camera, Vitas’ evocative documentary black and white photography of East European lives – as well as his passionate, turbulent relationship with partner and muse Tatyana – is only now being given its due.
Stubborn and non-conforming, Vitas strained against the closely watched confines of the KGB, pushing the medium of photography in startling, visionary work.