New York, NY (August 31, 2011) - agnès b. is proud to present 'This Side of Paradise', a photography exhibition from internationally acclaimed artist and filmmaker, Jonas Mekas at the recently opened agnès b. Galerie Boutique in Soho, New York. This exhibition marks the first time these rare and deeply personal images of the Kennedy and Radziwill families from the early 1970's are on view in NYC in their entirety. The photo prints are taken directly from the original 16mm film of Mekas' celebrated film 'This Side of Paradise: Fragments of an Unfinished Biography' which he completed in 1999.
Jonas Mekas talks about the project, from a page in his diaries: "Unpredictably, as most of my life's key events have been, for a period of several years in the late sixties and early seventies, I had the fortune to spend some time, mostly during the summers, with Jackie Kennedy's and her sister Lee Radziwill's families. Cinema was an integral, inseparable, as a matter of fact, a key part of our friendship. The time was still very close to the untimely, tragic death of John F. Kennedy. Jackie wanted to give something to her children to do, to help to ease the transition of life without a father. One of her thoughts was that a movie camera would be fun for children. Peter Beard, who was at that time tutoring John Jr. and Caroline in art history, suggested to Jackie that I was the man to introduce the children to cinema. Jackie said yes. And that's how it all began. I bought them a very easily operable 16mm movie camera, and even wrote a "mini-textbook" suggesting some simple movie exercises….
The images in the exposition, with a few exceptions, they all come from the summers Caroline and John Jr. spent in Montauk, with their cousins Anthony and Tina Radziwill, in an old house Lee rented from Andy Warhol, for a few summers. Andy himself spent many of his weekends there, in one of the cottages, as did Peter Beard, whom children had adopted almost like their older brother or a father they missed. These were summers of happiness, joy and continuous celebrations of life and friendships. These were days of Little Fragments of Paradise." - Jonas Mekas
Originally exhibited at agnès b.'s Galerie du Jour in Paris in 1999, 'This Side of Paradise' was a great critical and popular success and the photo exhibition marked the beginning of a long-standing collaboration and friendship between agnès b., Galerie du Jour and Jonas Mekas and resulted in a number of exhibitions, publications and art projects. To coincide with the New York show, there will be a special film screening of "This Side of Paradise: Fragments of an Unfinished Biography" at Anthology Film Archives at 7:30 PM on October 13, 2011.
About agnès b.
agnès b. is a privately owned, French fashion brand founded in 1975 by Agnès Troublé, who still designs every garment that bears her name. Included in the agnès b. universe today are 283 stores worldwide, two contemporary art galleries, a hybrid art periodical, Point d'Ironie, and the film production company, Love Streams. In March 2009, JRP-Ringier published Collection agnès b., a noteworthy art book that highlights more than 300 pieces of artwork from her personal collection. In 2010, agnès b. was awarded the Cross of Officer of the Légion d'Honneur, issued by the French government. agnès b. is the principal supporter of the scientific research vessel Tara, which is currently on a 3-year global expedition to study oceanic ecosystems. agnès b. lives and works between Paris and her hometown of Versailles.
For more information see: www.agnesb.com
About Jonas Mekas
Jonas Mekas was born on December 24, 1922, in Lithuania. He and his brother escaped a forced labor camp in Germany and hid on a farm until the end of WWII. They emigrated to New York in 1949 and two weeks after his arrival he acquired his first Bolex 16mm camera. In 1969, Mekas co-founded the Anthology Film Archives in NYC, an international center for the preservation, study and exhibition of film and video that celebrates its 40th anniversary this year and Mekas continues to serve as its President today. Mekas is a filmmaker, critic, editor, distributor, archivist, artist and poet. He is internationally recognized as a central figure in modern avant-garde and independent film. Mekas has published a dozen volumes of poetry and prose. His films, art and installations have shown at the Venice Biennale, MoMA PS1, La Ville de Paris, Moderna Museet (Stockholm), Kassel Dokumenta, Museum Ludwig and many other international galleries and museums. Among his most well known films are The Brig (1965), Walden (1968), Reminiscences of a Journey to Lithuania (1971), Lost Lost Lost (1976), This Side of Paradise (1999), As I Was Moving Ahead Occasionally I Saw Brief Glimpses of Beauty (2001) and most recently, A Letter from Greenpoint, Sleepless Nights Stories and My Paris Movie. Jonas Mekas currently lives and works in New York City. For more information see www.jonasmekasfilms.com and www.anthologyfilmarchives.org