Richard Kern: A Retrospective

Richard Kern: A Retrospective

Photography and films by Richard Kern 1980-2000

Curated by: Rafi Ghanaghounian (

Presented by: STUDIO gallery, 294 College Street, 2nd Floor,
416-832-3933, Toronto, Canada
For further details of this exhibit please

Duration of exhibit: May 1 – May 30, 2012
Opening reception: Saturday May 1st, 2012; 6-11pm (artists will be in attendance) this is a free event
Artist talk and book signing: Sun April 2nd, 7-9pm, $10 (Books will be available for purchase)

This evening will include a conversation between Bruce La Bruce and Richard Kern
1st Film screening: Sat May 15th, 7-10pm, $5 (includes full exhibition and curator introduction)
2nd Film screening: Sat May 22nd, 7-10pm, $5 (includes full exhibition and curator introduction).

Artist Statement: This retrospective exhibition is a documentation of works by Richard Kern over the last twenty years.  From his early short films which became recognized as the central works of the movement known as the Cinema of Transgression and photographs from the 90’s which feature early stages of his voyeuristic style photography

In the early 80’s and 90’s Kern brought a specific form of art to the public. A bit of a shock is an understatement. Drawing inspiration from the neighborhood, the lower east side in New York, where he still lives and works.

Kern began with short films because of its immediate audience response. He later moved to  photography full time in the early 90’s. This however does not stop  Kern from occasionally directed films and music videos for artists Lydia Lunch, David Wojnarowicz, Karen Finley, Rita Ackermann and Lucy McKenzie, the novelist Geoff Nicholson, and musicians such as Sonic Youth, the Butthole Surfers and Marilyn Manson – sought to both unravel and illuminate the complex and often darker sides of human nature.

Kern is a photographer, occasional pornographer, former-filmmaker and video director, but what remains profound is that He is a portrait artist first.

Kern has published nine books and is a regular contributor to a variety of international publications such as Purple, Vice, V Magazine and Italian GQ as well as in his numerous books and exhibited at The Museum of Modern Art, The Whitney Museum and in more than 30 solo shows around the world.


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