If the model is the exhibitionist, then I am the voyeur. Richard Kern
Richard Kern is a post-modernist punk photographer who has worked in New York city rock music and No Wave” art circles since the 1970s. In Looker, through a series of carefully constructed vignettes, Kern’s models proceed through their daily private lives, seemingly unaware of the camera. Or are they wittingly playing into the obvious cinematic intrigue? The balance of control present in each frame is a powerful and sensual statement.
Looker is thought-provoking in its gentle nature, pastoral tones, and caring reflection of private innocence but it is also freshly and stunningly erotic, silently exuberant in its portrayal of intimacy and abandon. Richard Kern’s photographs are a peek into a world of mystery and eroticism.
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Richard Kern is a photographer, filmmaker, video director and portrait artist. His photographs have appeared in ArtForm, i-D, Purple, PDN, Flash Art, FHM, GQ, and Legshow. He lives in New York.
Geoff Nicholson has written fourteen novels, including The Food Chain, Footsucker and Bleeding London, which was shortlisted for the 1997 Whitbread Prize.
Underground filmmaker, music video director and photographer Kern (Action) has built the latter half of his career on documenting a kind of hipster porn aesthetic, and this latest book, his tenth, continues that trend, with glossy full-color images of women caught, seemingly unawares, in various stages of undress. At their best, the pictures here are simple and effective, as much about the play of light, atmosphere and composition as about any forced notions of sexuality. At their worst, they are simply cheesy. One, an obvious homage to the iconic 70s image of a female tennis payer scratching her butt, comes off as less sexy than clumsy and stale. As might be expected in a book that purports to be created on the fly, there's an abundance of public nudity and crotch shots here-perhaps one of Kern's particular fetishes-and most of the images are in soft focus, as if taken with telephoto lens from behind bushes and across fields. Kern prefers his models natural and disheveled; readers might welcome the lack of make-up and artifice in his photographs-assuming that the essential artifice of reconstructed voyeurism doesn't turn them off, that is.
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