THE JAZZ GALLERY IS PROUD TO PRESENT IRWIN KEYES: A VERY HUMAN BEING
September – December 2017
With an opening Reception September 13, 2017
6 – 9pm
featuring live performances by Flamenco jazz pianist Chano Dominguez. vocalist Claudia Acuna, the Antonio Madruga Trio and other special guests.
Irwin Keyes, A Very Human Being
Irwin Keyes (1952-2015) was an internationally-renowned and commanding character actor who was born in New York City and grew up in Amityville, Long Island. Frequently cast as likable lugs, brutish goons, and imposing authority figures, Irwin acted in a diverse array of more than one hundred films in such genres as horror, comedy, thrillers, action, and science fiction. Keyes most popular and iconic films include Friday The 13th (1980), Guilty As Charged (1991), House of 1000 Corpses (2003), Black Dynamite (2009), The Flintstones (2000/1994), The Private Eyes (1981), Zapped (1982), Intolerable Cruelty (2003), Dream slashers (2007) , the Oblivion film series, The Warriors (1979), the Exterminator film series, and many more.
Keyes achieved his greatest enduring popularity with his recurring role as the endearingly oafish bodyguard Hugo Majelewski in the 1980s CBS TV sitcom The Jeffersons. Among the other TV shows that Irwin made guest appearances on are Laverne & Shirley, Police Squad, Moonlighting, Married With Children, thirtysomething, Growing Pains, Tales From The Crypt, and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.
For his closest friends and members of the Irwin Keyes family, one of the things we most love and have been most consistently inspired by is how steadfastly our dear brother has pursued his dreams while remaining positive against tremendous odds and challenges with a whole lot of hard work and wonderful sense of humor.
This hulking, 250-pound actor remained remarkably upbeat throughout his career although he was constantly typecast in heavy, even grisly roles. Irwin continued to work tirelessly on films, television, and commercials for over 35 years, gaining the most worldwide recognition for his portrayals of the malicious henchman Wheezy Joe in the 2003 Coen Brothers film Intolerable Cruelty, as Fred and Barney’s friend Joe Rockhead in the Flintstones (1994), and as the wild masked man Ravelli in Rob Zombie’s House of 1000 Corpses (2003).
Although Irwin Keyes had a lifelong passion for drawing and painting, he did all the striking paintings in this present exhibition during a major burst of creativity in the 1990s and in the early 2000s in Santa Monica, California. Irwin often talked about the fact that “you gotta learn to tell a good and compelling story, no matter what genre of art you are creating in. And any artist worthy of that name is always learning.”
May we never stop learning from the humility, humanity, and tender loving heart of Irwin Keyes.
–Todd Barkan and Ilene Glick (sister of Irwin Keyes