Jonas Mekas Tips His Hat
JUSTIN CONNER, ANNE HATHAWAY, JAMES FUENTES, JONAS MEKAS
James Fuentes’s gallery, formerly a live-work standalone building at the end of a rare cul de sac deep in Chinatown, has always been a destination. His new space on the Lower East Side, adjacent to the Wong Kar Wai-inspired Chinese restaurant Congee Village, is no different. Members of the Guggenheim Museum’s Young Collectors Council and guests solidified that reputation by gathering last weekend to support emerging artists and inaugurate the space.
The Art Affair benefits the Guggenheim Museum’s international acquisition and exhibition programs. This year, in conjunction with Jonas Mekas’s inaugural exhibition, he and fellow multimedia artist Lizzi Bougatsos were asked to create a limited-edition work for the YCC Acquisitions Fund, to be recieved by each attendee. Mekas presented a frozen film frame of the king himself, Elvis Presley; Bougatsos displayed a digital photo of another crowned head titled, JESUS IN MY LEG! Mekas was posted in the back of the gallery most of the night meeting, greeting and discussing his arrangement of 21 framed Lithograph prints. “I’m very enthusiastic about tonight, and the young collectors. I hope they buy up everything!” Mekas half-joked in his heavy Lithuanian accent. He’s been in New York since 1944.
Outside, Bougatsos explained, “I really am a performance artist and was doing that before I ever started actually making art, and that piece is performance art.” Bougatsos performs with New York experimental band Gang Gang Dance, amd stood describing the mental switch she has to make from music show to art show. Describing her art, she hesitated briefly to say her work was influenced by Jonas Mekas, but said, “he is an inspiration to all artists in New York. He is an archive of New York.” Just then, Mekas, who walked out of the venue, took a look around, tipped his hat to Natasha Lyonne, standing nearby, and continued down the city street.
JONAS MEKAS, TO NEW YORK WITH LOVE IS ON VIEW THROUGH OCTOBER 31 AT JAMES FUENTES LLC 55 DELANCEY STREET.