Bushes & Succulents
By Mona Kuhn
Bushes & Succulents is Mona Kuhn’s celebration of the female essence – confident, raw and elegant, yet confrontational and unapologetic.
Reminiscent of Georgia O’Keefe’s floral paintings, your eyes wander around the graceful lines, not knowing exactly what you are looking at. The solarisation process reveals human imperfections, not only in the metallic brilliance of the skin, but also brings to the surface a woman’s struggles, strengths, and power.
“The frame reminded me of early childhood, at age eight or so, when I would jump in the shower with my mother. It resonates an adoration and child-like curiosity for what it is to be a woman. My intention is not to objectify the body, but to celebrate the female body and its essence.” – Mona Kuhn
Born in Brazil, Mona Kuhn currently resides in Los Angeles. Through intimacy with her subjects, knowledge of traditional iconography, and technical mastery, Kuhn portrays the complexities of human nature, both tempting and provoking our imagination.
128 pages, 60 images, Hardback, tip on, wrapped with embossed paper, 290×255 mm, signed
By Mona Kuhn
Published by Watermark Press, 2002
This small, unassuming catalogue of just fourteen images stands as a portal to the quiet visual language of a young photographer who is destined to grow in recognition with time.
Her images of bodies capitalize on a restrained depth of field and subtle tonal range, pulling into sharp focus only certain portions of the subject, creating a mysterious, gestural hieroglyphics worthy of study.
32 pages, 14 black and white illustrations, Paperback, signed
By Mona Kuhn
Published by Steidl, 2011
In a remote landscape near Bordeaux, Mona Kuhn owns a little house: simple, bare and even without electricity. Kuhn travels here each year to entertain family and friends as they drop by. Bordeaux Series contains portraits of these people dear to Kuhn made over the last four years, as well as landscape photographs. Kuhn photographs her subjects in the same room with a red fabric backdrop and a chair, so that the nudity of each sitter is the only indication of his or her idiosyncrasies. A sequel to Kuhn’s Native (2009), Bordeaux Series is a sensual exploration of the contemporary nude.
102 pages, 74 plates, clothbound hardcover, signed
Special Edition available
By Mona Kuhn
Essay by Gordon Baldwin, Story by Frederic Tuten
Published by Steidl, May 2007
Critics have observed that Mona Kuhn’s subjects seem “nude but not naked”. Completely relaxed before the camera, they give the impression that nothing could clothe them better than their own skin.” Kuhn, who photographs in the naturist or nudist community, often in domestic interiors, weaves together gestures from the traditional iconography of nude studies with the comfortable body language of her subjects, creating a visual patois at once classical and contemporary. And beneath the mellow surfaces of her photographs lies an explosive energy: the artist’s controlled play with the power of sensuality. Tension and uneasiness coexist with all that sunlight and soft flesh. The subjects and their gestures are suggestive but ultimately ambiguous. Tenuously held planes of focus provoke the imagination. Kuhn works very close to her subjects, often with a depth of field of only a few inches. Real world and image world seem to blend together as her figures unite the reality of human complexity with the blissful essence of nature. With only sparse reference to physical surroundings, they appear to float in an idyllic picture space, part of a dreamlike narrative just beyond the viewer’s comprehension. These exceptional photographs exist in a space created by the artist and subject alone–the viewer is given a single fascinating glimpse, suspended in time, and then an enduring sense of the resilience and vulnerability of the human body.
88 pages, 54 color, 11.5 x 12.25 inches
Clothbound, signed copies available, ISBN-13: 9783865213723
By Mona Kuhn
Essay by Wayne V. Anderson, Text by Shelley Rice
Published by Steidl, September 2009
After 20 years, Mona Kuhn returned to her native country, to reinterpret her past. Photographed entirely in Brazil, mostly in the rainforest and city surroundings, Native employs the green, gold and pink underlying palette of the country. In a contrast to her previous series, Native employs nature as a mirror of her encounters with people and human emotions.
“This work began as a personal journey. Metaphorically, I was thinking of a bird that flies back into the forest, searching for its childhood nest. The images here are a creation of my abstracted wishes and dreams. As I was searching, instead of home, I found an empty past, just traces of it. Yet, my journey was filled with new friendships, and discoveries made along the way.” — Mona Kuhn
96 pages, 65 colour plates, 29 cm x 31 cm
Clothbound hardcover with dust jacket, ISBN: 978-3-86521-913-8
Photographs and text by Mona Kuhn
Essay by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore
Short text by Victor Tupitsyn
Published by Steidl, Spring 2004
Seeking the innermost self in her photographs, Kuhn achieves a mood of intimacy by photographing up close models she knows well. Her photographs are a product of lasting relationships built on mutual affection. In a sense, the images are based on the memory of shared experiences. – Julie Nelson
The people in Mona Kuhn’s photographs are nude but not naked. Completely relaxed before the camera, they give the impression that nothing could clothe them better than their own skin. With a unique style, Kuhn’s intimate photographs of both young and old are sensual compositions of skin and wrinkles, light and shadow, gestures and gazes. She creates taughtly composed images which balance sharply rendered portraits against blurred backgrounds to lure the eye and provoke the imagination.