Mona Kuhn – Now showing at M+B Gallery

Here in Los Angeles we have an organization called PAC (photographic arts council) which exists in association with Los Angeles County Art Museum.

What the heck is it?

Well, one of the main things that it does is set up meetings with photographic artists at their exhibits.

Very cool stuff,and I’m sure in your city there are similar organizations.

This week, we had the pleasure of meeting with Mona Kuhn at the M+B Gallery in Los Angeles.

This photographer has become one of the new rising stars of the fine art photography scene.
From a self published ( along with some gallery owners backing) collection of her work, to now her second book, Evidence, Mona Kuhn work has been been gathering a strong following in our world.

To hear the artist explain the methods and reasoning behind the images was, dare I say it, illuminating.

Some of her earlier work were the simpler graphics of body parts. No, not Joel Peter-Witkin type, but with a certain sensuality although guarded and graphic in nature.

As she explains it, the revelation of the relationships in the images has evolved and is still evolving. She lives in France part of the year in a naturalist community. Not a nudist camp, but much more a way of life. In the years of her visits, she has built up relationships which allows her a freedom to photograph those that have become her friends.

Her methods are simplified. No tripod, Hassalblads, and film. Sometimes the compositions are recreations for light or subject placement.

Take a look at her work and see what you think. One of the elements of the photographs that appears to be a common thread is the eyeline of the subjects. Mostly looking off to the side, the viewer is allowed to gaze without being directly engaged by the subject.
The relationships are studied and specific, although the strongest emotional connections are communicated in an out of focus world. Perhaps a protective nature for the subjects. Or the photographer.

I can’t wait to see the next years series. As Mona and her subjects grow increasingly comfortable with each other, more layers will continue to be seen.

I am an admirer and the meeting with Ms. Kuhn only helped the appreciation of the work.

Check out her site on the BIO page for a video interview with her. Hear it in her own words.

A couple of points here: There is a good reason to seek out the artists for a fuller understanding of the image. Critical ? Nope. Enriching? Holy moley, you bet.

Therefore going to an gallery opening can possibly give you that opportunity. Along with questionable white wine and cheese cubes.

Maybe your local museum has a PAC type organization. Well worth checking into it.

Damon Webster

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