Algis Kemezys

Algis Kemezys
Location
Ste Adele, Québec, Canada
Birthday
June 28
Title
Co-Director
Company
BAK
Bio
Internationally exhibited Photographer/Documentary filmmaker, Sculptor, Dowser, Scrabble enthusiast, Geomancer, Iatromant, gourmet chef

Editor’s Pick
JULY 2, 2012 11:08AM

Remembering Ivan Karp (1926-2012)

Rate: 20 Flag


                     ivan Karp, OK HARRIS     


                 Ivan Karp as I saw him @ OK Harris in 1984                                                                                  

 

Ivan Karp was one of those people in the NYC, Art World  that you can never forget. Fast talking and quick witted, Ivan Karp was the champion of the unknown artist. Always keeping an open door policy, he would look at any and all art which would came his way, right then and there on the spot. He believed in finding the next great talent and he knew to do that you had to be open and available, unlike his counterparts who made you wait endlessly and then jump through many hoops to get that opportunity.

 

Ivan Karp didn't mince words either, he would glibbly say things about your work that might make you wish you never come to see him, but if you listened carefully he always gave you enough information to keep on keeping on and strive for another day in which to return for a follow-up visit and perhaps be granted a show.

 

This was the case for me, back in the early eighties, where on my first attempt to show him my work called Street Mysteries, he said outright he could never sell these images, which I had so successfully exhibited in Montréal and gotten very positive reviews including in Popular Photography.

 akladder 

 

 

                                                finger  

 

                                                              urb 

 

                                                       playball  

 

 

streetmysteries 

 

                                                     stjos 

 

Yes, I was upset, but lucky for me down at the bottom of my portfolio  I had a few images of my current work-in-progress called Graven Images and that is when we became life-long friends. We both had a love for sculpture and the cemetery and I went on to have my first One Man Show in NYC at the OK Harris Gallery called Graven Images in April 9-30,1988.

                                photo by algis kemezys, Ivan Karp

 

                                                       

photo by algis kemezys, Ivan Karp

 

 

                                                                       photo by algis kemezys, Ivan Karp

 

photo by algis kemezys, Ivan Karp

 

 

                                                      photo by algis kemezys,

 

 

             photo by algis kemezys, Ivan Karp   

 

                                                   photo by algis kemezys, 

 

                                                         photo by algis kemezys,

 

 

                                                      photo by algis kemezys,

 

 photo by algis kemezys, Ivan Karp

Once in a while in the mid-Eighties I used to show up in the gallery dressed in bright sunny colors. Ivan, speaking to one of his friends/customers, laughed and said: "Just take a look at this artist all youthful and bright-colorful! I bet you could never figure out that his art-specialty is Cemetery Images!"

photo by algis kemezys, 

 


                                     photo by algis kemezys, Ivan Karp

 

                        

photo by algis kemezys,   

 

 

                                                    photo by algis kemezys, 

                                                    

 

 

photo by algis kemezys,                                                         

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                               photo by algis kemezys,

 

 

photo by algis kemezys,   

 

photo by algis kemezys, Ivan Karp 

 

 For me Ivan Karp was the Kwisatz Haderach of the  Art-World. Not only did he know what was going on in its secret corners, but he also had the instinct and vocabulary to encourage or dismay all those who might come his way.

The three years I lived in NYC, back in the eighties were the most memorable because of my monthly visits to OK Harris. Which made me feel like Dorothy visiting the great OZ, which he surely was. My relationship to Ivan, my keen respect for him, the countless excellent shows I saw at OK, made me strive to create better art. These are influences that have lasted a lifetime and are ever stronger now that he has passed. It's without a doubt a case of knowing he's watching me from above, and I better not disappoint him. 

Ivan Karp  was the dealer of such luminaries as Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein.  He was one of the few art dealers who posted a sign in the Gallery "Smoking Permitted"  and he had a good run with a logo called "Fine Arts Forever"! He was unofficially the Mayor of Soho and one of the founders of the entire Soho Art Scene. There, at his West Broadway location in the OK Harris Gallery, is where Ivan Karp kept house. And what a house it was.

I am really sorry to say I shall miss my contact with his greatness, personality and vision. I shall always cherish the few small handwritten notes I have gotten from him.                                                        

                photo by algis kemezys, Ivan Karp

 

RIP Ivan Karp, knowing that those whom you were enthusiastic with were then inspired for a lifetime.  Always hoping to return the favor with a new body of work that captured your interest and  critical eye!

Below is an image from "Holy Cow" another Portfolio of mine exhibited at OK Harris. Our sacred bull has left us but the nourishment of his thoughts and actions shall carry us through the rest of our lifetime knowing we met and dealt with such enthusiastic and knowledgeable artiness. 


 

                                                   benares 

 

pushcar 

 

                                                      photo by algis kemezys, Holy Cow

 

holycow 

 

                                                    photo by algis kemezys, Holy Cow

 

tajmzahal  

 

My final ode to Ivan must have been created a few weeks ago when I made this image for my Born in Stone series. It's doubtlessly young Ivan Karp organising things in Heaven, so the fine details of creation will also get their 15 minutes of fame as Andy Warhol said they would. Only, this is in Heaven, baby!


 

Ivan Karp, OK HARRIS            

 

photo by algis kemezys, Ivan Karp 

 

Ivan Karp died at the ripe age of 86 . His gallery OK Harris will always be a beacon of art-greatness at 383 West Broadway, Soho, NYC  

 

                                                     photo by algis kemezys, Ivan Karp

 

photo by algis kemezys, Ivan Karp 

 

  

 

 all photographs by Algis Kemezys © 2012

 

 

Ivan Karp, OK HARRIS   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Your tags:

TIP:

Enter the amount, and click "Tip" to submit!
Recipient's email address:
Personal message (optional):

Your email address:

Comments

Type your comment below:
sigh.. just great... I bow to you..
HUGGGGGGG
Oh you were so lucky to know such a man. A mentor. Inspiring and now you inspire others....like me... it goes round and round. Thank you for being so professional and yet so real. Great combo.
Never met him, but everything I've read and heard about him tells me that Ivan was a mentch in every sense of the word.
Algis, thank you for taking our eyes and making us focus on this artistic genius. The light and shadow are astounding... Blessings!
Algis, I remember the name well, in addition to the gallery which made such a famous name for itself, too! Fascinating story and photo essay...very cool that you have the hand written note from him, also! Sympathies to his family and friends, I can tell his passing has left a huge void in the art world!
What a tremendous, and fantastically illustrated, tribute to your master. But as you said, the great art will live on.
Algis, it takes a talented artist to recognize mentors and take some of their advice along the way. Your work continues to move me everytime I see it and I am again fortunate that you shared one of the remarkable people in your life with us here on OS.
Algis, so sorry you have lost a friend -- and the art world has lost a piece of humanity, it sounds.
My favorite image here is the first one, your photo of Mr. Karp: what an image to stare at for awhile! There is something about the way his feet are turned in just so, encased in shiny leather, line and shadow all around, a kind twist to his expression....
such memories are perfection
your art intrigues my memories
Wonderful tribute, Algis. What an inspiration he must have been to you.
Besides being talented you are a lucky man Algis. All the best.
Besides being talented you are a lucky man Algis. All the best.
it's touching when credit is given when credit is due. if we can't acknowledge anyone else, or withold that acknowledgement there is no art. it doesn't matter what field.
Interesting about someone I never heard of! I'm sorry he didn't like your Street Mysteris because I like them. Of course your Graven Images are epic. As you regard him as the Kwisatch, I'm glad he never made you put your hand in that box!
Algis, I am so sorry that you have lost your friend, which through your writing I liked and I wish I can find such a honest human being in my way. If I ever, make enough money to make a gallery of my own, the sign "Smoking Permitted" will be there!! Wish I had met Ivan too, your tribute to him, is an introduction to a beautiful human.
I love both sculpture and the cemetery, and you are the first to meet, with the cemetery view, as museums, some of the best statues are there. Your work, has gone through a lot of evolution, and to me reading you, is also an education, a learning. Only wish I could make such beautiful work as yours. I have the dream of my work being in a gallery, and I am trying, but it is, as you, better than me know, very difficult. Some times, I even feel embarrassed at my thinking and wish, that a gallery would have my work, cause my images are from a digital camera, but do not why, I try.. Your images, are of the most beautiful I have seen. Thank you Algis, both for the insight and for sharing your work. Ivan, was lucky to have you, and you him!!
Algis, I'm so sorry to hear you lost a friend. He sounds like a good man and an interesting character, as well as a great talent in his eye for art. A well rounded person all around. This is a wonderful tribute, thanks for sharing it.
Wow he sounds like a fantastic person....I miss him through you... Love your work as always....I particularly like the street mysteries series.
Another outstanding essay. You need to autoplay music with this. If you need to know how, just ask me.
Algis!

I haven't stopped by OS for a while. First stop was here today. What a wistful, joyful, beautiful post.
He sounds like a rare soul, Algis. Great job here.
Linda Seccaspina, Thanks so much..Hope you don't mind that I am crumpled up and weeping on my bed?

zanelle, It doesn't get any better or worse than this. Thanks so much Z!


jmac1949 Yes, that is the word I was looking for. Thanks again Jmac!

Brazen Princess,Thanks BP! I do what I can while I still can....Sounds like the Can Can is for me....


designanator Apparently there will be a ceremony this fall in NYC. Yes Ivan was responsible for so much of our culture and what came out of his influence affecting so many things, like from Book covers to Fashion. Maybe he was even a bit of the God-Particle.



Mary Stanik, Thanks MS, Boy I fixed my post here because of what you said and because of the fact that I put it together in such a frustrated mood. I hope so much that you say and that the world evolves nicely instead of devolving horribly. Fine Arts Forever!
So wonderful!!! And the autoplay worked!! Glad I could be of help.
By the way, on my computer the top picture doesn't work.
Does our new editor not know that "editor's pick" means it goes on the front page...and pleeeez is it just me or is the top picture missing????
SheilaTGTG55 Thanks so much Sheila, unfortunately I am running out of them by the minute. As my mentor Berenice Abbott said to me ..”Getting old is no fun...you see all your friends die and end up quite lonely because of that.”Happy 4th of July to you!


Just Thinking... Thats a good point. I think of those shoes often and the position of the feet. I recently decided the highlights were just too bright on those shoes and photoshoped them down. You think good, Happy 4th of July to you!

Chuck A. Stetson Happy 4th of July to you! great I am so pleased to hear that.

Erica K Ivan Karp was more than inspiration he was a catalyst for excellence. He was also the Kwisatz Haderach. Once you had his interest in your body of work, you could work on it ruthlessly.

Dicky Neely Emerson Lake and Palmer... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lRFpXPu_7wE

Dicky Neely Happy 4th of July Dicky! Wish I was there! Or wish I could take you to my cool paradise.

Ben Sen Ben how so very true. I love you too for that. Happy 4th and more...
JULY 02, 2012 05:39 PM

Interesting about someone I never heard of! I'm sorry he didn't like your Street Mysteris because I like them. Of course your Graven Images are epic. As you regard him as the Kwisatch, I'm glad he never made you put your hand in that box!

ccdarling, LOL oh he had his way of making you put your hand in the box without knowing. He never did it to me but I have seen him do it to others and it was very sobering. Also, I think it was the Bene Geserate who did the box thing. Thanks again and Happy 4th....
STATHI STATHI ,Do not worry using a digital camera does not matter in the least. If anything in some respects it is far better than a film camera although film has something too that digital does not. When the time is right all things happen. I like your images because they represent the Mysteries of the Universe like the Elussian Mysteries. I had such a good few hours in Elussius on my way home to Canada. If I had the money I would start the Mysteries all over again although the teachings might be lost forever. yes I would love to get out of the rat race and concentrate only on those kind of things. It seems that out of that part of the world, The teaching of the Ancient Egyptians and the Elussian Mysteries are gone but the mysteries of the Kabbala are still in practice to this day. Thanks again and Keep on keeping on!

l'Heure Bleue Losing ones Friend, Mentor and Art aler in NYC is something that is so irreplaceable. Esp when it is Ivan Karp. I had some friends who were artist really kind of snub me because I was friends with Ivan and they were not. Have a great 4th L’huere,...Hugs!
JULY 02, 2012 07:47 PM

Anne Cameron Cutri Thanks so much Anne. Have a great 4th of July!

Dianne Schuch - Lindsey Great Idea and thanks so much for helping me with that..Your the best/ Happy 4th of July...
JULY 02, 2012 09:42 PM


Vivian Henoch OMG Vivian that is such a wonderful thing to read. Thanks big time. You have a great 4th of July now!

cheshyre grin As rare as you my Cheshyre friend. I am still completely dumb founded but I beleave Ivan saw my new work “Born in Stone” when I sent it to the Gallery months ago via email and the response was that they Loved it and wanted to see the prints this fall. Have one heck of a great 4th of July too!
Dianne Schuch - Lindsey, Yes the image was gone because it was an embedded image from Pinterest of mine. I did that so it would look better. I have replaced it with an original in OS. Thanks again so very much for teaching me this cute and simple little trick. Yes you must put this in the HTML code not the page text. I think your extras $ were also the secret. Anyhow I love you for it and wish to take you out to my Cool Paradise. Have a great 4th of July...Hugs and knishes!
Just Thinking, You know when I was making that image it felt as if Yoda was watching me. I can only be pleased that I managed to photograph the great one back then when it counted.
Lovely tribute Algis. He will be missed.Thanks for this.
Merci pour partager cela avec nous tous. Tout le monde veut de choisir les robes les plus appropriés pour lui-même. Vous pouvez visiter notre burberry vente shop.we avec une bonne qualité. Vous pouvez trouver. Obtenez votre robe dans notre boutique Chemises pour hommes ,Chaussures pour hommes , Polos pour hommes . Enfin, vous souhaite à tous heureux tous les jours.