Mona Kuhn: Paradise Lost
Paradise Lost is a carefully curated selection of photographs from Mona Kuhn’s seminal series Evidence, in celebration of her new retrospective monograph Works, currently on view at Jackson Fine Art. The sensual and sun-drenched photographs of Evidence feel just as relevant as they did when they were first created, fifteen years ago in France. It was with this work that Kuhn first established her signature soft-focus backgrounds and intimate communion with her subjects, a familiarity that continues to distinguish her portraiture today.
Mona Kuhn's photography is characterized by large-scale photographs of the human body, which are often intimate and natural. Mona Kuhn's photographs draw inspiration for her work both from classical art and the desire to examine — and sometimes transform — how society views the natural human body. Much of Mona Kuhn’s photography focuses on capturing people feeling comfortable in their own skin, while still exuding a sense of dreamy beauty. Mona Kuhn is known for developing close relationships with her subjects and making them feel at ease in her presence, resulting in a unique type of playful intimacy in Mona Kuhn’s photography. The deep connections Mona Kuhn cultivates with her models not only lend a physical closeness to her work, but a sense of the emotional connections she has developed as well. Indeed, many of Mona Kuhn's photographs manage to somehow be both whimsical and sensual at once. Mona Kuhn once remarked, "I always feel that people are dressed in their own skin,” and her photography features a wide array of subjects — including friends and family members — in their most natural states. “[The nude] is an art-historical costume you can't get away from,” the artist said. “And if nude is a costume, then naked would be a uniform."