ARTIST OF MONTH - Mona Kuhn
6 months ago
Portrait, Mona Kuhn
QUICK FIRE ROUND with Mona Kuhn
- what was the first photography book you bought?
I grew up in Brazil and the very first book I purchased was from the artist Mario Cravo Neto, published in conjunction with the Museum of Modern Art of São Paulo. Mario was an early mentor, who lived in the city of Salvador in Bahia. His darkroom was built on a tree top, where he managed to make the most arresting prints I have ever seen. We sat by the terrace, enveloped by the tree’s canopy, and enjoyed conversations still vivid in my memory.
- what is your favourite color?
My favorite color is a Bordeaux red. I often think that if I could only use one color, that would be the perfect one, because it encompasses all kinds of human emotions, from birth to death, from passions to fears. It is the color of life, of blood, of what brings us closer together.
- who are your photographic influences?
My influences shift because I am always looking to what's next and eager to learn something new. But in a nutshell, I would say that I learned the most by looking at Richard Diebenkorn's composition, Lucien Freud's relationship with models, Georgia O'Keeffe's subtleties and Lee Miller's courage.
- what is your favourite museum?
The Louisiana Museum in Denmark is one of the most beautiful museums I have ever visited. It is located on the shore of the Sound Strait, and in my opinion, it has one of the most sublime architecture created to show its contemporary art collection in balance with surrounding nature. I literaly have this sensation of "floating" when I visit its galleries. It's sublime.
- if you could buy any photograph which would it be?
Either an Irving Penn nude or a Mickalene Thomas collage.
- your favourite holiday destination?
My place in the southwest of France. It is off the grid and the only place where I can escape, zone in and continue to do my work.
- if there is one living person you could photograph who would it be?
I would love to photograph a female astronaut returning from Space station. I was born in 1969 when the first man stepped on the moon. Also, my camera is a Hasselblad, which was developed for that mission back then. Space has always been a passion, and photographing an astronaut would be the perfect excuse to spend a moment with one of them.
- what is your guilty pleasure?
Dark chocolate, it is my only yet severe addiction. I have to have a bite before bedtime, and I travel with my own supply, just in case!
- what is your favourite city?
One of my favorite cities is Oslo, mainly because of the Frogner Park, the largest sculpture park with over 200 pieces by Norwegian sculptor Gustav Vigeland.
- which charities are you currently supporting?
- Heifer Foundation (ending hunger and poverty in developing countries)
- San Francisco Camerawork Arts Program (funds towards women and minority artists)
- Children's Hospital in Los Angeles
- Elizabeth Taylor Aids Foundation
- Elton John Aids Foundation
- Institute Gustave Roissy (fight against breast cancer)
MONA KUHN: WORKS is published by Thames & Hudson March 11 in the UK & Europe and April 6 in USA - order now or from all good book stores