|Born||1954 (age 61–62)
Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina, United States
|Occupation||filmmaker, writer, photographer|
Richard Kern (born 1954) is an American underground filmmaker, writer and photographer. He first came to underground prominence as part of the underground cultural explosion in the East Village of New York City in the 1980s, with erotic and experimental films like The Right Side of My Brain and Fingered, which featured underground personalities of the time such as Lydia Lunch, David Wojnarowicz, Sonic Youth, Kembra Pfahler, Karen Finley and Henry Rollins. Like many of the musicians around him, Kern had a deep interest in the aesthetics of extreme sex, violence and perversion and was one of the leading lights of the movement called Cinema of Transgression, a term coined by Nick Zedd.
Kern's first dabbling in the arts was a series of self-produced underground magazines featured art, poetry, photography and fiction by Kern and several friends. These hand-stapled and photocopied zines expressed the bleakness of New York City's East Village in the early 1980s. Kern's first zine was the bi-monthly The Heroin Addict, which was later renamed to The Valium Addict. About 12 issues of these two zines were produced, along with the occasional special issue. This phase of Kern's career lasted from late 1979 to around 1983.
In 1985, Kern directed a video for the Sonic Youth song, "Death Valley '69", which led to more music video work, including videos for King Missile ("Detachable Penis") and Marilyn Manson ("Lunchbox").
Kern can also be credited with discovering Lung Leg, the star of his film You Killed Me First and the cover model for Sonic Youth's EVOL album (a still shot from the film). Along with other Cinema of Transgression filmmakers, he was a subject of Jack Sargeant's book Deathtripping.
In the 1990s, Kern, whose father was a North Carolina newspaper photographer and editor, turned almost exclusively to still photography. Although mainly known for his photographs of naked women, Kern frequently shoots celebrity portraits for international publications.
In 2007, Kern's book Action, edited by Dian Hanson, was released by Taschen, featuring more than 200 full-color photographs of young nude women. Accompanying the volume was Kern's DVD of models featured in the book Extra Action.
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- Misheff, Johnny (May 31, 2011). "Visiting Artists | Martynka Wawrzyniak". The New York Times Magazine. The New York Times Company. Retrieved June 11, 2011.
- Richard Kern at the Internet Movie Database
- Richard Kern exhibition review
- Hardcore French 2 Dvd Edition
- Extra Action French Dvd Edition
- Official Myspace page for "Llik your idols", a documentary about the Cinema of Transgression featuring Richard Kern
- Interview with Richard Kern about his work.
- Article about Cinema of Transgression documentary Llik Your Idols
- Interview with director Angelique Bosio about Llik Your Idols
- Richard Kern x Mishka NYC
- Richard Kern on Nofound