Vitas Luckus was born on May 29, 1943 in Kaunas, Lithuania. At the age of eighteen, after graduating with a degree in drawing and painting, his parents gave him an AGFA camera, which initiated his fascination in photography. In the following years he developed a great interest in art photography and became a member of the Kaunas Photo Club, to which he was elected president a few years later.
According to Luckus, the conventional use of light and visual arrangement of a photograph would leave out essential elements that could retrieve the vitality and different levels of reality. He advocated a style in which there was no hierarchy of meaning: every element in the photographic composition was of equal importance. Only then was it possible to capture the “truth” and represent the essence of a scene, of life itself.
Luckus was known to drink excessively and experienced ongoing confrontation with the authorities. This battle was set off by his refusal to adhere to the conventional standards of beauty, regulations that were firmly guarded by the Lithuanian government. In 1987, during a visit from several men to his home, Luckus got into an argument with one of the men, who was later identified as a KGB agent. The fight became violent and Luckus stabbed and killed the man. Only moments after the incident, Tanya Luckiene, his wife, found Luckus: he had jumped to his death from their balcony.