The light and forms of Joshua Tree National Park inspire a turn toward abstraction for the famed photographer
Acclaimed for her intimate nudes, Mona Kuhn takes a new direction into abstraction in her latest series, Acido Dorado. Photographed at a golden modernist structure on the edge of Joshua Tree National Park, architectural lines, light reflections and a single figure have been carefully balanced against the backdrop of the Californian desert.
The human figure in these images--Kuhn’s friend and collaborator Jacintha--emerges like a surrealist mirage, fragmented and indistinct, at times submerged in shadows or overexposed. The building’s facades of glass and mirrors serve as optical planes, an extension of the artist’s camera and lens. Light is split into refracting colors, desert vegetation grows sideways, inside is outside and outside in. Kuhn pushes a certain disorienting effect by introducing metallic foils as an additional surface, at times producing purely abstract results. Acido Dorado marks Kuhn’s increasing use of techniques that appear to merge the figure, abstraction and landscape into one.
Mona Kuhn (born 1969) is best known for her large-scale, dreamlike photographs of the human form. Her pictures often reference classical themes with a light and insightful touch. Kuhn’s approach to her work is distinguished by the close relationships she develops with her subjects, resulting in images of remarkable naturalness and intimacy. Born in São Paulo, Brazil, Kuhn lives and works in Los Angeles.