Discuss Richard Kern photos

Discussion in 'Discussing a ****** Photograph' started by spiralcity, Oct 1, 2007.

  1. spiralcity

    spiralcity Member

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    Richard Kern,
    All photos posted where taken in one of the two apartments Richard Kern rented in N.Y City from 1979 to 1986.

    Richard Kern’s photos can be rather disturbing. His work reflects the punk underground scene of the late 1970’s thru the mid 1980’s. The photos I posted are scanned from his 1997 book ‘New York Girls’.

    I’m amazed at the results Richard Kern was able to achieve while using a bare-bones set-up.

    Please take a look at his work and feel free to post your thoughts.

    http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2007-4/1252181/greenlady.jpg

    http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2007-4/1252181/blonde.jpg

    http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2007-4/1252181/girlinmirror.jpg

    http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2007-4/1252181/onall4s.jpg

    http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2007-4/1252181/bwcoveredface.jpg

    http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2007-4/1252181/girlbluebackdrop.jpg
     
  2. Ray Heath

    Ray Heath Member

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    g'day Spiral

    what are your thoughts on this work?

    apart from 'greenlady' i think they are fairly shallow, poorly captured and have little narrative value
     
  3. Pinholemaster

    Pinholemaster Member

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    Yawn
     
  4. spiralcity

    spiralcity Member

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    The work is scanned from a book. The images I have posted are of very poor quality. No fault of Kern.

    I posted these images because most of his work may not be suited for this site. the photos above are tame enough.
     
  5. Ray Heath

    Ray Heath Member

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    ok Spiral

    a couple of issues occur to me;

    why post 'very poor quality' work/scans whatever?

    why post work that may not be suitable?

    why not explain why you felt compelled to post this work?

    i checked out this guys website, sleazey comes to mind, why does a middle aged man need to photograph quite young women in such a slip shod and perverse manner with little artistic intent?

    please explain yourself
     
  6. noblebeast

    noblebeast Member

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    Didn't he star with Tim Allen in "Home Improvement"?
    ;-)
     
  7. cosm670

    cosm670 Member

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    There is also a web based show about him made for Vice Magazine called Shot By Kern. http://www.vbs.tv/
     
  8. Michel Hardy-Vallée

    Michel Hardy-Vallée Membership Council Council

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    DIY punk ethos? Surely, you must jest. It's glamour-on-a-shoestring, not punk.

    Had a look at his web site and it's mostly softporn, at the level of the French New Look magazine: "Tammy and Sammy were out for a bike ride. Then Tammy said, Oh, let's have a picnic here. And it was only a few minutes before Sammy had Tammy for lunch."
     
  9. spiralcity

    spiralcity Member

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    1. I posted what I had.
    2. It dosent matter the quality of the scans. The photos are intended to get people talking.
    3.No work was posted that wasnt suitable.
    4. Why do I need to explain? This is the thread to discuss photographers?

    I like what Richard Kern did. His work may not be suited for all. He never used professional models, and yes his images where shot on a shoestring budget.

    We all see art differently.When I look at Kerns images I see the sleazy, gritty side of N.Y and YES in my eyes he does capture the PUNK feel of the late 70's and mid 80's.

    Kern also produced some videos for MTV back in their early days.

    I truly dont understand the statement below.
    We could have a long discussion about art if you like.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 3, 2007
  10. Michel Hardy-Vallée

    Michel Hardy-Vallée Membership Council Council

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    Just think about the cognitive dissonance between these two statements...
     
  11. Ray Heath

    Ray Heath Member

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    g'day spiral

    yeh, we could have a long discussion, or you could just explain yourself a little more, as i have asked of you twice already

    as for these images, don't get hung up on the fact that this photographer is known/published/whatever

    make up your own mind about him

    to me his work is poor and could have been done by anyone

    why don't you try this kind of image making and you may come to realize, as i have, that it's not hard or particularly special but can be done much better with diffferent light, different material, different subject, but still done simply
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 4, 2007
  12. Alex Hawley

    Alex Hawley Member

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    Art, schmart. Just because someone calls it art doesn't mean anything. It doesn't do a thing for me. Anyone with a 35mm and various rolls of film can do this stuff all day long. Slip-shod, poorly done, ect., ect., ect. Ho-Hum. Quite amateurishness IMO.
     
  13. Alex Hawley

    Alex Hawley Member

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    HAH! Here's a couple lines from the Wikipedia article on Kern:
    and
    So he's on some fringe edge and is a recognized professional pornographer. DUHHHHH!
     
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  15. spiralcity

    spiralcity Member

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    So people are talking.... hmmmmm

    I dont feel the need to defend Kerns work. Richard Kern could do a much better job at that than I.

    MR. HEATH, I dont feel the need to explain anything to you. Perhaps you should go back and read my last post.

    That statement couldnt ring more true. Perhaps you should reread what you wrote, or perhaps you feel it is your duty to tell others what art should be.

    Everything cant be Flowers, smiling children, and happy clowns.

    Art is as we see it.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 4, 2007
  16. spiralcity

    spiralcity Member

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    Ray Heath,
    Your post is stating 666 as I write this, must be a sign. hahahahaha
     
  17. Anton Lukoszevieze

    Anton Lukoszevieze Subscriber

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    Punk?

    What's punk about them? I grew up surrounded by other kids who were punks at the end of the 70's, they looked great compared to this lot. These people look like a bunch of geriatrics on a fashion shoot...............
    That said, the aesthetic quality reminds me of Cindy Sherman's work, but not nearly as accomplished.
     
  18. spiralcity

    spiralcity Member

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    Harry, I should have made myself more clear. I was reffering to a book called 'New York Girls'. when I made that comparison.
    I understand that many people will find Kerns work objectionable, and I agree. Some of his work is disturbing and uncomfortable to view.


    I dont see the conflict. Perhaps your reading a bit to deep into a simple post.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 4, 2007
  19. Ray Heath

    Ray Heath Member

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    g'day spiral

    i didn't mention 'art', maybe you should reread, i suggested that you try this work yourself and not be lead by some overrated sleaze bag

    do you find it difficult to express yourself in a meaningful way?

    you started this thread, i'm just seeking your opinion
     
  20. Sparky

    Sparky Member

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    Welcome to APUG...!

    :smile:
     
  21. Sparky

    Sparky Member

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    I'm very familiar with kern's work - it's a bit of a funny niche market - because his work (here referring to his EARLY work-which REALLY - are his films) was more about conveying an attitude of nihilism - one specific to the new york punk scene of the late 70s. I see his work (and Mapplethorpe's) forming a nexus whose missing element was probably the work of Jimmy DeSana (a contemporary of mapplethorpe - but both preceded Kern, and inspiration for Cindy Sherman). I think it would have been better perhaps to look more at this work - the kind you'd see festooned on album covers, etc...

    http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B000003TAH.01.LZZZZZZZ.jpg

    Contextualization: Jimmy DeSana

    http://www.thebody.com/visualaids/web_gallery/2006/oates/images/02_large.jpg

    But I guess the whole deal with niche 'markets' like this is simply the fact that it wouldn't mean much to you if you weren't part of it... kind of like a fred picker photo is for other people (i.e. people find meaning in the work through a common love for something - and in that case it would be the zone system)
     
  22. spiralcity

    spiralcity Member

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    I guess what you do isnt ART? Your probably right. Anyone who needs a discussion explained to them because they cant find value in what is precieved as art by many, has already missed the boat.

    No one leads me Mr. Heath. Perhaps you could open your eyes a bit wider.

    When speaking of Ying and Yang, how is it possible for the beauty of art to exist in one while not the other? Or are you just affraid of your darkside and havent come to terms with it? Or you just cant admit it and prefer to hide in a shell.

    Enlighten me Mr. Heath. You seem to be an expert.

    Do you even know what the New York underground scene was? Do you have any other artistic value than photography? I find it hard to believe you can pick up a camera with out burning your hands. I find most of your statements a spit in the face to art. I stold that last line. Guess who? I bet you cant.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 4, 2007
  23. Ray Heath

    Ray Heath Member

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    hey spiral
    why have you gone on the attack?

    why so personal?

    can't you expressive yourself calmly?

    art, i don't consider this work to be art, but regardless of that, it is bad photography, poorly done with little regard for technique

    why is poor work constantly excused because it is labelled art? why can't good art also be good, strong imaging? why is a good idea badly done considered more arty than a good idea well done? what is wrong with making use of photography's inherent strenghts?

    i am a photographer and an artist, i don't profess to be an expert, i have shown my work, whether it appeals to anyone else is not my concern, where is your work? do you have the strength of character to post for all to see?

    your right, i don't know from where you 'stold' that line, i don't even know the word 'stold'
     
  24. jovo

    jovo Membership Council Council

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    I'm not sure if it's good that Ray and Spiral are half a world away so they never come to blows, or if would be better that they were in the same town where they could meet for a beer and discuss Richard Kern happily, but attacking each other personally here isn't necessary or welcome. Okay, guys?
     
  25. jeroldharter

    jeroldharter Member

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    I have never heard of him before this. I looked at the photos and regardless of the quality of the scans they are lame. I really don't understand the appeal. I tried to log onot his website from work but "access is not allowed" which tells me something also.
     
  26. Michel Hardy-Vallée

    Michel Hardy-Vallée Membership Council Council

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    My point is simply this: where is the "edgy" and "punk" in MTV, even the early one?