Jonas Mekas

1922 - 2019

Jonas Mekas is a Lithuanian-American filmmaker, poet and artist, often referred to as "the godfather of American avant-garde cinema." Born in Lithuania, Mekas was imprisoned during WWII before emigrating to Brooklyn in 1949. Once in New York, Mekas became an integral figure in the avant-garde art scene and befriended and worked with cultural icons including the Kennedys, Salvador Dali, John Lennon, Yoko Ono, Allen Ginsberg, and many others.​​


His work has been exhibited at the 51st Venice Biennial, PS1 Contemporary Art Center, the Ludwig Museum, the Serpentine Gallery, and the Jonas Mekas Visual Arts Center.


Mekas’s film diary chronicles Warhol's everyday life and work between 1965-1982. Mekas filmed Warhol and the cultural icons that surrounded him (including Lou Reed,  Edie Sedgwick, Allen Ginsberg, Mick Jagger, John Lenon, Yoko Ono, the Kennedys and many others) in the Factory and other locations around New York City and Montauk, including footage from the first-ever Velvet Underground performance in 1966.


Jonas Mekas states about his project: "This film is made up of my film diaries relating to Andy Warhol from the years 1965-1982. Locations are New York and Montauk, the Factory, House of George Maciunas, Village Gate, Psychiatrist's Convention, home of Stephen Shore, the Warhol Estate, etc. The cast includes: Lou Reed, Nico, Edie Sedgwick, Gerard Malanga, Andy Warhol, Allen Ginsberg, Ed Sanders, Barbara Rubin, Tuli Kupferberg, Peter Orlovsky, John Lennon, Yoko Ono, George Maciunas, Vincent Fremont, Henry Geldzahler, Paul Morrissey, Karen Lerner, Jay Lerner, Peter Beard, Tina Radziwill, John D'Allessandro, Caroline Kennedy, Mick Jagger, and many others." (from Electronic Arts Intermix).


© Jonas Mekas

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