Kezys was born in Lithuania in 1928. Fleeing
to the West prior to the Soviet occupation of his
native country, Kezys came to the United States in
1950 to study and eventually to be ordained as a Jesuit
Priest. In 1956 he received a Master's Degree
in Philosophy from Loyola University in Chicago. Assigned
to the Lithuanian province of the Jesuit Fathers he
served his countrymen in Chicago and other cities
in the United States. He founded the Lithuanian
Photo Library and has served as its president since
1966. He also founded and is presently Chairman
of the Board of the Lithuanian Library Press in Chicago.
From 1974 to 1977 he directed the Lithuanian
Youth Center in Chicago.
Kezys fostered his own artistic inclinations by immersing
himself in the art of photography, and, in 1965 his
artistic talent was recognized with his first exhibition
at the Art Institute of Chicago. He has since
exhibited in a number of American and European museums
and his work has appeared in magazines and books on
both sides of the Atlantic.
most recent exhibition (May 2000) was in Washington
D.C., sponsered by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Now a former Jesuit, Kezys operates a small gallery
(Galerija) in Stickney, Illinois, that represents Lithuanian
artists worldwide and publishes reviews, catalogs, and
books on art, religion, and photography.
Christian Narkiewicz-Lane* has written of Kezys, "...Kezys
tends to be the maker of a newly defined world as much
as the vehicle of artistic expression will allow. Here
he walks towards and through himself in order to cross
the threshold of a broader experience. The viewer
who exists tends to disappear and pass into the image.
This is proof of the possibility of placing oneself
in a particular territory, deep in the personal heart
of life, as well as plunged into the unknown and into
the anonymity of time and space... the effect
is like awakening from a dream - transforming the "apparition"
back to the landscape or the cityscape. The void
returns to the silence of nature, however leading to
a higher and more defined reason."