Quotes About karen “As photography editor, I find myself tempted to put artists into slots. This person is a portraitist. That person works in black and white. This photographer shoots musicians. That photographer does documentary work. I simply can't do this kind of thing with Karen Kuehn's photography. She is able to drop in and photograph truck drivers, artists, kids, and CEOs with equal grace. She moves effortlessly from color to black and white, and when and why to use each. Most important, she comes back with images that have both surface richness and a real depth of emotion.” David Schonauer Editor in Chief - American Photo “I hate being photographed. My face looks wooden in pictures, as if carved by a sculptor who studied art at a school he found on the back of a pack of matches and had got to about lesson 4. And, of course, nothing really prepares you for what your body looks like on film. It's not just the 10 pounds the lens supposedly adds under your skin-- it's the *way* it does it-- like an incompetent taxidermist had stuffed it in a hurry. So, when Karen showed up to take my picture in August of 1992(?), I wasn't having any of it. I know every photographic trick in the book and I was determined not to fall for them. Just the facts, ma'am: I was prepared to offer up just the bare minimum. Well, yes, that's just what I did: Within 30 minutes I was stripped down to my birthday suit and was swinging like a Playboy bunny on the tire swing. How did this woman do it?? She is funny, weirder than water and so damn good with a camera. She can charm a snake into a lawnmower, casting a spell over our hum-drum, quotidian lives ...From within that fantasy spell emerge her trademark evocative, vital and honest images.” Sally Mann “We have been committed to photography that tells a story, often a story that affects us all and has formed a collective and shared memory of key events in our time. Karen has spent her life in this great tradition, photographing people and places across the United States. If Karen didn't capture it, one might miss this part of America. Her chronicles bring together far-away characters and her tenderness makes them all familiar.” Michelle and Sidney Monroe “ Come One, Come All Karen Kuehn Colossal Foto Carnival See the Lamp Girl and Pool Girl! See Steve Martin smirk with a Polka Dot hat! See the shocking Spank me Baby! See Cher like you've never seen her before! Be shocked by Robert Downey Jr. with Cactus! Be amazed by Estee Lauder and Son under glass! Watch the Dancing Trees Dance! And you'll never forget Godzilla in Paris! No two Photos Alike. Each one a surprise an Original LOOK AT YOUR OWN RISK! "I WAS DAZZLED!" DUANE MICHAL'S “The best photographic portraits are not always taken, sometime they are simply given. Because of some unknown human chemistry one photographer is allowed to penetrate the surface of a personality while another image maker may simply come up with a picture that is clever but not terribly revealing. Judging by the broad variety of her portrait oeuvre, Karen Kuehn seems to have a distinct ability to connect with her subjects. Better than clever, Kuehn pictures are composed with fine aesthetic sensibilities. She is in full command of the space and light used and then somehow draws out the individual so the viewer connects not just with the photographer's personality and sensibilities, but more importantly, with the subject in front of the lens. She sees them in basic, simple ways, using each millimeter of space with great sense of balance and grace. Then, it appears she gets them to like the process and give her the picture she wants. I think it would be interesting to be photographed by Karen Kuehn. Nice, and probably fun. I image this applies to photographers who specialize in portraiture, as well as those who roam the streets in hopes of documenting a place or a subject, hoping to see well and deep. In the end the most important thing is: you have to care. Sounds simple, sure, but you really have to care about your subject. Love it or hate it, but don't dare be indifferent because it's very rare, I think, that superior work is done in a state of indifference.” William Albert Allard “Karen's idea of an assignment is to take the mundane and turn it inside out. The most fun anyone could have is to see what comes out of her head. It is never boring, always original and wonderful. Karen's creativity comes out in every aspect of her life. Her images play off of reality, her imagination comes alive in her everyday life. As a mother, friend, photographer, Karen makes it all jump off the page.” Jill Endfield “Karen Kuehn's portraits are dynamic because they are suffused with her radiant energy. She elicits responses from her subjects that are transformed into portraits of immediacy, strength and beauty through the quick-fire play of her imagination. She doesn't do this occasionally she does it all the time. She isn't just lucky. She is good. Very good. She finds that angle, that mood, that light that inner quality and makes it manifest. Each portrait is as unique as its subject and her vision there's no "look," no formula, but a commitment behind the lens to the person in front of it and the skill to merge the two.” Brigitte Carnochan “Karen Kuehn is one of the most innovative photographers of this generation. Just when you think you know her style, she produces photographs unlike what you had previously seen -- or expected. Some photographers bring "a fresh view" to their subjects, but Karen brings a fresh view every time -- fresh unto herself. As such, she combines unusual creativity with an ability to interpret and to get amazing cooperation from her subjects that produce unexpected -- and incisive photographs.” Rich Clarkson “Karen Kuehn is a wonderfully imaginative photographer fully in command of her art and craft. She blends impeccable technique with strong artistic vision and a ferocious energy that is utterly disarming and frank, while also being charming. Her collaborations with subjects rest on an ability to focus her vision while eliciting their full cooperation. The results are magic moments.” Tom Kennedy “Karen's works are masterpieces. I know, I have one on my wall.” Antonin Kratochvil “When Karen Kuehn comes roaring up on a cloud to take your picture be very afraid because she's no ordinary body snatcher she's a lover with a camera who'll make your dreams immortal and by the way, watch out for your petunia because she'll sniff it out and light it up nice and pretty and then you know it will be on the cover of some big glossy magazine and your mama will say why'd you have to go and show that dang girl everything? Because she was irresistible mama you will say. Karen Kuehn carries a camera to show the world what unconventional joy looks like. Its true.” Donna Ferrato “Only a small elite of photo portraitists in our time can truly capture the multidimensional contemporary reality of a human subject in what is after all just a two-dimensional medium. Annie Liebowitz is one. Karen Kuehn is certainly another. It is not surprising that so many of this generation's leading artists and writers have assigned to Karen the task of presenting them to their publics, to the world and to posterity.” Tom Goff Senior Vice President - EDELMAN “My inner voice was shouting “Give this girl a gig!” when I first met Karen Kuehn as Photo Editor of Travel & Leisure magazine circa 1981 - 82 . We were both pretty new at the publishing game. The editors had a tight knit stable of photographers they liked to use over and over . I finally convinced them to try Karen on an assignment and everyone was glad I did. What was unique about the relationship and the nature of the collaboration with Karen was the level of trust between us. I trusted Karen’s passionate commitment to her art and she trusted my ability to see it through to it’s most powerful end .We had an amazing run of assignments where I would not give Karen a specific directive or tell her what the editors were envisioning for the story. I honestly remember saying “ Karen I’d like you to go to this Island for a week or so, take what you need and shoot it the way you see it.” Inevitably Karen would come back and tell me “the way I see will require that I use a light leaking Holga with infra red black & white film using coyote urine as a stop bath.” I never questioned or regretted getting behind Karen’s ideas and visions , they were so clear and pure . I just felt an obligation to do what I could to support her efforts. The readers, editors, writers, advertisers and competition judges were always blown away by her work. I think the excitement came from the element of surprise because the work was truly original, had loads of content and connection . However , it was never ever what was expected.” Bill Black Photo Editor “When I first saw Karen’s work many years ago, I was overwhelmed with the quality and the technical perfection of her beautiful images while surprised to hear that all were created with one camera and one lens. Since then, Karen has maintained the quality in her work but started to produce images with a unique touch and style obviously created in the imaginative mind of the photographer long before they are recorded in the camera. As a result, every image has a new approach that is completely different from what has been created before so that every new image brings a new and unexpected surprise. More importantly, each image that Karen creates is the type of image that one desires to see over and over and that one remembers for a long time. This ,I feel ,is the characteristic of a great photograph that is likely to become in important part of the photographic history. “ Ernst Wildi Hassleblad USA “Karen, she‚s got moxie. The result is these pictures, at times strange and superb; and at other times, so straightforward, direct and simple as to make my lips ache from too much smiling. But simple is hard and weird is wonderful and Karen is, well, Karen and thank god for her amazing talent.” Bob Sacha “It was a great pleasure years ago to receive Matrix submission for syndication: material well Among them I had always the joy to see the portraits of Karen of famous people. The reason to me was that she succeeds, in the magic triangle that connects the photographer, the subject in the picture and the public that will see the picture , to convey a statement of culture and knowledge about the subject and in the same time a deep emotional curiosity to know more about him. This is done with her peculiar aesthetic style very clean and straight concentrating on the people and taking out of them their sensibility. Look at the difference between Tom Hanks and Sting. Two very different people two different souls and the same way of revealing two completely different personalities.” Grazia Neri “After teaching photography for 32 years at Cypress College in Southern California, I can tell you that it doesn't take long to spot the students with the drive and creative passion to learn photography. Karen Kuehn was one of those students. From the very beginning, she showed a flare for a bright, new and different approach to each of her assignments. Instructors would pass around her projects amongst themselves, commenting on her rather bold and unorthodox approach to another assignment....and they were always good! In a "studio practices" class that Karen was taking, I gave an assignment to photograph a bright, shiny metal object. Karen signed up for a four-hour block of time. Most students signed up for one or two hours. At one point on the appointed day, I stepped into a studio awash with white background paper everywhere. In the middle of this sea of white paper, Karen stood next to a gleaming chromed wheel from her father's vintage Ferrari. No one had ever done a car wheel before Karen came along. The wheel was elegant, and the resulting photograph just blew everyone away. That's the Karen I know. “ David F. Drake, Professor Emeritus “MY FRIEND KAREN KUEHN IT'S THE HUMANITARIAN IN HER THAT I APPRECIATE IT'S HER DEDICATION TO GOOD, AND HER ONGOING QUEST FOR QUALITY THAT I LIKE. BENEATH THE OUTER LAYER OF STYLE, IS A LUST FOR LIFE THAT I LOVE. KK, A SEARCHING SOUL, SEEKING OUT WHAT IS RIGHT. IN HER I KNOW THE AMERICAN VALUES THAT I ADMIRE.” DANIEL LANOIS “Karen Kuehn's work resounds with her wit, charm and humanity. She reminds the viewer of how to see again as if through the eyes of a child, filled with wonder and amazement. Her work is permeated with the joy and love of life, therein lies her true gift.” Malcolm Burn “The look she got in new orleans was if time had stood still timeless. You could smell the swamp and feel the the wetness in the air. Some of the best photos I’ve seen that capture the real vibe. It’s like a great old record that you couldn’t turn off. She has the eye.” Mark Howard “Restaurants in Georgetown smelling up my office in Washington DC. That's how I remember Karen Kuehn. She was just getting started in photography and was showing me results of a project she was working on. Photos of chefs. They weren't ordinary and they stopped me in my tracks. Smell isn't the right word -- it was some kind of aroma that put right into the kitchens of those subjects. From that day on, I always looked forward to seeing her work. “ Bruce Dale Photographer “It has been my pleasure to work with Karen Kuehn throughout the years on various important advertising projects. I always felt confident that she would be able to achieve exactly what we were after and have never been disappointed with the final results. Karen is a fine shooter and a unique human being.” Sonia Zobel VP Senior Art Producer McCann Erickson “If I were to have anybody shoot my portrait it would be Karen Kuehn.” Tibor Kalman M&Co.