Biography

Mona Kuhn’s (German, b. Brazil, 1969) photographs of nudes aim to show the human body in its most natural state. Stripping away the distraction of material adornment, her subjects become timeless and free from cultural and/or generational stereotypes. A sense of comfort permeates each photograph; the subjects feel safe and at ease, allowing a genuine conveyance of emotion. She begins each series with a specific color palette in mind, followed by an emotion. Then she chooses a location, and lastly her subjects. Working intimately with a group of friends, she considers each photograph a collaboration. The subjects’ postures mirror their environments and each series flows like a lyrical ballad, opening up a dialogue about the human body’s interaction with the setting. Classically trained, Kuhn’s compositions are painterly studies, each photograph thoughtfully arranged. Each image is multi-dimensional with a careful selective focus, giving the viewer the opportunity to only enter specific areas of the frame and leaving the remainder up to the imagination.

Mona Kuhn was born in 1969 in São Paulo, Brazil and is of German descent. She received her BA from The Ohio State University and went on to study fine art at the San Francisco Art Institute. Her work is in private and public collections worldwide, including The J. Paul Getty Museum, California; George Eastman House Museum, New York; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas; Musée de l'Elysée, Switzerland; Musée de la Photographie de Charleroi, Belgium; Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, Japan; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, California; The Louvre Museum, Paris, France; Pérez Art Museum Miami, Florida; and the Buhl Foundation, New York. Steidl has published four monographs of Kuhn’s work to date, Photographs (2004), Evidence (2007), Native (2009), and Bordeaux (2011). Her newest monograph, Private, also published by Steidl, will be released in the Fall 2014. Kuhn’s currently lives and works in Los Angeles and is an independent scholar at The Getty Research Institute.