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Indepth Arts News:

"John Minihan's Literary Portraits Displayed"
2006-03-17 until 2006-04-14
Princess Grace Irish Library
Monaco, , MC Monaco

John Minihan (b. Dublin 1946) is one of Ireland’s most celebrated photographers, famous for literary portraits and landscapes. His friendship with Samuel Beckett produced some of the most remarkable photographs ever taken of the writer, two of which will be exhibited at the Princess Grace Irish Library to coincide with the centenary of Beckett’s birth (April 1906 - December 1989). “Beckett’s face is as familiar as his characteristic images: a tree, a country road, tramps, tape recorders, bananas and boots. A still photographer’s dream sequence with only the sound of the camera shutter spoiling the silence.” In addition to the Beckett photographs, the mounted black and white prints to be exhibited in Monaco depict other Irish writers (including Seamus Heaney, Derek Mahon and Edna O’Brien) and the graves of Oscar Wilde, W. B. Yeats and Thomas Moore. In April 2006, John Minihan’s book Samuel Beckett – Centenary Shadows will be published by Robert Hale.

John Minihan spent his early years in Athy, County Kildare. When he was eleven, his family moved to London where he went on to become an office boy on the London Evening News, an apprentice darkroom printer on the Daily Mail, and the youngest staff photographer on the Evening Standard where he stayed for almost thirty years. “It was the Swinging Sixties, a truly exciting time to be young and especially to be a photographer.” During his London years, John returned often to Athy for holidays and it was there that he started to take photographs purely for pleasure and later for documentation purposes… snapping family, friends, landscapes, scenes of everyday life. Since his first “Athy photographs” were shown at the Royal Court Theatre in London’s Sloane Square in 1971, his work — described as poignant and sublime — has been exhibited in galleries around the world, from Paris to Rio de Janeiro. He lives in Ballydehob in West Cork.

The Monaco exhibition is sponsored by Culture Ireland (Cultúr Éireann) and held under the aegis of Fondation Princesse Grace.

It is curatored by Dr Michael Casey, Artist, Curator and Government of Ireland Post-Doctoral Fellow, Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences (An Chomhairle um Thaighde sna Dána agus sna hEolaíochtaí Sóisialta). He was the Ireland Fund of Monaco academic-in-residence at the Princess Grace Irish Library in the Spring of 2004.

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