Richard Kern

Feature Inc.

Before becoming known as a photographer, Richard Kern was a director of short “death-punk” films, pioneering a post-Warholian B-porn aesthetic that made itself at home on Sonic Youth album covers and in East Village basement screening rooms at a time when it was still possible to call such production “underground.” In the meantime, Kern’s photographs have been widely published in books and magazines as various as Purple and Barely Legal. Kern does porn, art, and fashion photography, sometimes all in one day, but his singularity does not reside in this crossover potential so much as in the way he strips this multi-tasking down to its hollow core, and in how he elaborates his peculiar distance from the labor he performs whenever he aims his camera at a model.

The nine photographs at Feature, Inc. all operate within the tried-and-true codes of pornographic voyeurism. Kern’s lens peeps through

to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.