Richard Kern was born in 1954 in North Carolina and raised there in a small town called Roanake Rapids. His father was the editor and chief photogrpaher of the local paper so he played with cameras as a kid. He also had a perfect attendance record at Sunday school until he was age 15.
Kern started taking naked photos after getting off heroin in 1988. It was a cheap way to replace the drug pathos he was missing. He doesn't consider most of his photos erotic; he sees them as portraits of the kind of quirky cute girls he has liked all his life.
Shot by Kern
For him, a perfect model is one that fits into his realm, who is intelligent and willing to do whatever he asks for a photo. These days they email him.He has a show on Vice.com called Shot by Kern that somehow makes girls want to work with him.
Fig.1. Lucy in Bed (2003)
Fig.3. Sasha Grey (2009)
Fig.5. Crepúsculo (1993)
Fig.7. Still from an unreleased silent film by Kern
Fig.8. A stripper Kern shot (1995)
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More of Kern's photographic work can be found on the artist's site
Click HERE for the modern-day Renaissance sensuality of the Spanish photographer Mariano Vargas
Sources: richardkern.com, twitter.com, vice.com, flickr.com, fusegallerynyc.com, The New Erotic Photography by Dian Hanson