"...I’ve long been a fan of the photography of Richard Kern, who does edgy erotic photography. Some of it’s explicit, or explicitly fetish, material; but a lot more is what I’d call “plain” art nudes... It’s very simple: thirteen photos from Kern’s archives, with short captions by Kern about the models..."
From The Archives Of Richard Kern
July 17th, 2009 -- by Bacchus
I’ve long been a fan of the photography of Richard Kern, who does edgy erotic photography. Some of it’s explicit, or explicitly fetish, material; but a lot more is what I’d call “plain” art nudes, done in an indescribable way that makes them seem deeply kinky. Back in the pre-blog era, I sometimes used to make extra beer money buying books of his art postcards, separating them carefully, and then selling them individually on eBay (that was before eBay hired a Disney executive and went all “mid-twentieth-century prude” on everybody).
From time to time I get a low-key marketing email from Rori at Vice magazine. Rori gets these right: it’s openly a mass email, contains most of the useful information in the subject line, it’s very short, features the advertised link prominently, and best of all it asks nothing and is easy to ignore. The (low) cost of scanning and deleting these has finally paid off, by alerting me to a Richard Kern feature called Archival Girls. It’s very simple: thirteen photos from Kern’s archives, with short captions by Kern about the models.
BY RICHARD KERN
“I still see her in the East Village. She was the girlfriend of another model I was shooting. She turned into one of those motorcycle girls. Now she’s got tattoos all over.”
CRISTINA MARTINEZ, 1987
“This is Cristina from the bands Pussy Galore and Boss Hog. I think she was about 19 or 20 in this photo. She showed up and she had all this gear—tons of bondage stuff. I’m so naive about stuff that I didn’t even realize she was a Latina girl until years later. I mean, look at her name! But it never occurred to me. Anyway, I ran into her about a year ago. She still looks really good.”
“She was the girlfriend of a guy I shot. I don’t know if I’d shoot her if I saw her now, but I like her in this shot. She’s this real typical kind of girl you get in New York—super-skinny, Jewish or Italian. She was a scenester girl.”
“This girl was in Glasgow. She’s the first anorexic girl I ever shot. She had cut marks all over her too.”
LUCY MCKENZIE, 1997
“I first met Lucy when I was doing a show in London when my book New York Girls came out. I showed my films in an auditorium over there and she came to the screening. Back then, when I showed my films, there would always be one woman in the audience who would stand up and go, ‘Why are we forced to look at these bad images of sex and violence?’ At this London screening, Lucy stood up and said something like that and I thought, ‘Here’s the girl who does it at this screening.’ But then she came up to me afterward and she wasn’t like that at all. She was really asking the questions on an intellectual level. She told me, ‘I live in Glasgow. If you come up, I’ll get you some models to shoot.’ So I did, but out of all the girls she showed me, she was the coolest-looking one. Once I started shooting her, we kept working together for years. I’ve taken thousands of photos of her. I shot her for a ton of porn magazines and she had no problem with it. She was just like, ‘I can take this money and go travel.’ This shot was taken in a hotel in Paris.”
I FORGOT HER NAME, 1995
“This was another stripper from San Francisco. I don’t remember anything about her… Oh, wait. I do! My doctor at the time told me his marriage was breaking up. It turned out it was because he was having an affair with this girl I photographed. Total coincidence.”