"[The most important factor in making a good picture is] to know who or what you are photographing. It is not about photography; it should be about life."
Mona Kuhn is best known for her large-scale photographs of the human form. Acclaimed for her contemporary depictions, Kuhn is considered a leading artist in the world of figurative discourse. An underlaying current among Kuhn's works is her reflection on humanity’s longing for spiritual inter connectivity. As a result, her approach is unusual in that she develops close relationships with her subjects, resulting in images of remarkable intimacy, and creating the effect of people naked but comfortable in their own skin. In addition, Kuhn's playful combination of visual strategies, such as translucency explores our connectedness with the environment. A sublime sense of comfort and intelligence permeates her works, showing the human body in its most natural state as the artist continues to question the role of representation in photography.
For the past two decades, the Los-Angeles based artist's works have been shown steadily, revealing an astonishing consistency in technique, of subject and of purpose. In 2001, Kuhn’s photographs were first seen by an influential audience during the exhibition at Charles Cowles Gallery in Chelsea, New York. Since then, her photographs have been exhibited internationally, including major cities such as New York, Los Angeles, London, and other major capitals across Europe, the US, and Asia.
Kuhn was born in São Paulo, Brazil, in 1969, of German descent. In 1989, Kuhn moved to the US and earned her BA from The Ohio State University, before furthering her studies at the San Francisco Art Institute. She is currently an independent scholar at The Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles. Occasionally, Mona teaches at UCLA and the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena.
Mona Kuhn’s first monograph, Photographs, was debuted by Steidl in 2004; followed by Evidence (2007), Native (2010), Bordeaux Series (2011), Private (2014), and She Disappeared into Complete Silence (2018/19). In addition, Kuhn's monograph titled Bushes and Succulents has been published by Stanley/Barker Editions, with a debut at Jeu de Paume in Paris, in 2019. Kuhn's forthcoming publication 835 Kings Road, will be published and released by Steidl in the Fall/Winter 2020/21.
Mona Kuhn’s work is in private and public collections worldwide, including The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The Hammer Museum, Perez Art Museum Miami, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and the Kiyosato Museum in Japan. Kuhn's work has been exhibited at The Louvre Museum and Le Bal in Paris; The Whitechapel Gallery and Royal Academy of Arts in London; Musée de l’Elysée in Switzerland; Leopold Museum in Vienna Austria, The Polygon Gallery in Vancouver Canada, Taipei Fine Arts Museum in Taiwan and Australian Centre for Photography. Mona Kuhn lives and works in Los Angeles.