On the 31st of May at the gallery "MJ studija (Rotušės sq. 1, Kaunas) was opened photography exhibition "World's Fairs and Man and His World" by Lithuanians diaspora's artist Algimantas Kezys (USA).

Algimantas Kezys, photography


Algimantas Kezys. We do not need to present this one. Most people know him as a master of photography. However, his fields of practise is a way wider. Kezys – art critic, writer, theologian, philosopher, books’ publisher, exhibitions’ organizer, documentary movies creator.

A PHOTO ARTIST. Has anyone seen A. Kezys walking with a photo camera? I would be surprised if anyone would answer me – yes. When he’ shooting, what kind of camera he holds – a mystery.

Love for Photography born while being a student, around 1958 and 1965 he already started his photo-exhibitions marathon. he became Known after he had held a personal exhibition in Art Institute of Chicago. Since than his photo-exhibitions were held in many museums and expositions halls of North and South America, his photographs are being published in the most famous publications.

“My way – like some kind of hiker’s, who is admired by sunsets, shadows, reflections, sometimes and faces. I don’t try to prove, or advertise in my photography. I only share with a

happiness that I have found ray of beauty in a corner of earth.

During the decades A. Kezys’ creation mutated in both, form and theme. His works stand out because of the philosophical features. In every work he is trying to spill his opinion to surrounding, he’s looking for the answers to the eternal human existential questions. Harmony of form and content, a well-thought composition are characteristic for his photographs. The author first of all demands for aesthetic.

DOCUMENTARY FILMS CREATOR. Does anybody remembers Algimantas – documentary films creator? In his documentaries – history of Lithuanian diaspora. In his autobiography book he remembers, that the first to speak about the necessity to make documentary movies about Lithuanians emigrants’ activity was till then redactor of Culture column of “Draugas”, poet Kazys Bradūnas. Kezys do not make documentary films anymore, but we cannot forget that this practice existed. I am certain that in his movies captured diaspora’s public and cultural activity - a treasure, a priceless material for historians, diaspora’s culture researchers. More than 4 decades ago made movies reminds us of scout camps, moments of spectacles of theatrical assemblies, presents the personalities.

EXHIBITIONS. One more field of Algimantas – Lithuanians art in America promoting. While directing for the long years for Youth Centre, he couldn’t look at blank walls, that is why he participated preparing his and many other artists exhibitions.

In 1980 Kezys founded “Galerija”. Many still recall this vital attraction centre of nationals in Stickney town (4317 S. Wisconsin Ave., Stickney, IL 60610), were have been held many exhibitions, discussions. “Galerija” is still working, but there is no more noisy nights and gatherings, a way less guests are visiting. But when you come to the “Galerija” you can still feel the pulsating of it.

It needs to be said, that Kezys early understood the importance of archiving. It wasn’t just concern of his own pieces. Because of Kezys idea in 1966 in Chicago was established Lithuanians’ photo-archive (now- Archive of Stasys Budrys), that was supervised by him. It is a joy, that here comes scientists from Lithuania to collect scientific material.

PUBLISHING. When I was visiting Algimantas few weeks ago, he rejoiced – his 120th book was released! Algimantas starts laughing, after being asked, how he gets everything done: “Be interested in what you are doing, doesn’t matter how modest it would be, the most important, that it really would be yours and would have a clear direction to good, love and heavenly wisdom. In that way all mistakes and misguided roads will straight out and become directing-spot toward the real happiness”.

Laima Apanavičienė