Exhibition and Book Signing at Klompching Gallery

I'm pleased to announce this very special exhibition at Klompching Gallery, New York. Located in the hub of arts district between the Brooklyn Bridge and the Manhattan Bridge in DUMBO, this art space is intimate, beautiful. This gallery has established itself a solid reputation for providing guidance on the acquisition of contemporary fine art photography. Darren Ching & Debra Klomp Ching will welcome you with the same delicate care I approach my subjects.

I welcome you to join me in person in two opportunities:

  • Opening Reception Thursday May 10, 6 - 8 p.m.
  • Book Signing Saturday May 12, 1 - 2 p.m.

Be among the very first to see the COLLECTOR'S EDITION of the The Unchosen Ones fresh off the press and The Sheep and the Goats (Kehrer Verlag, 2018).

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Lenscratch reviews "The Unchosen Ones" book

Aline Smithson features "The Unchosen Ones" book and project along with an interview on April 27, 2018. In the article, I share tips on navigating the fine art waters, lessons I’ve learned, perspectives into my working process, what I learned from my subjects, why I decided to self-publish, what a perfect day looks like and more!

View article here >>

 Aline Smithson reviews reviews "The Unchosen Ones" book along with an interview with R. J. Kern.

Aline Smithson reviews reviews "The Unchosen Ones" book along with an interview with R. J. Kern.

New acquisition by the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston

The Museum of Fine Arts in Houston acquired the first COLLECTOR'S EDITION of The Unchosen Ones (ed 20) in pre-sale this week. The project features photographs by R. J. Kern and a cloth clamshell box and print folio created in collaboration with Keith Taylor in Minneapolis, MN. The Artist Book Edition includes essays by independent curator Alison Nordström, PhD and Joe Scapanski, Minnesota State Fair Board of Managers. The pre-sale began on April 15 and books will ship May 2018 in conjunction with a solo exhibition at Klompching Gallery in New York from May 9 - June 30, 2018.

Pre-order details here >>

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This is the second acquisition of work created R. J. Kern by the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston. The first included the COLLECTOR'S EDITION of The Sheep at the Goats in 2017.

Communication Arts Award of Excellence 2018

"The Unchosen Ones" book received an Award of Excellence from Communication Arts magazine and will be featured in the 2018 Photo Annual issue on newsstands June 2018. In the editorial and advertising photography world, this is HUGE! I remember thumbing through back issues of Communication Arts in high school art classes looking for creative inspiration. I'm honored and humbled to have my work featured along of some of the best photographers in the world!  

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"The Unchosen Ones" Pre-Sale

"The Unchosen Ones" artist book and COLLECTOR'S EDITION pre-sale has begun. I’m proud of every piece of this project including it being all made in Minnesota, USA.

Details HERE >>

The Artist Book Edition includes essays by independent curator Alison Nordström, PhD and Joe Scapanski, Minnesota State Fair Board of Managers. Designed by Matthew Steaffens. Publisher: Author. 2018. Softcover, unbound. 12.5 x 15.5 inches (31.6 x 39.4 cm). 76 pages, 65 color illustrations. Printed in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA. First Edition, 200 copies. Retail price: US $35.

The COLLECTOR'S EDITION features:

  • SIGNED Limited Edition PRINT (11 x 14 inches) from a choice of two images (1/10)
  • 20 numbered copies + 4APs
  • Clothbound, embossed clamshell box created by Keith Taylor
  • Custom “The Unchosen Ones" rosette ribbon, inscribed by artist
  • Hand-signed book, “The Unchosen Ones" 
  • Includes all Artist Book Edition details
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Pricing to increase as edition sells out. Available May 2018.

The Sheep and the Goats: Book Review

Suzanne Révy reviewed three recently published photography books exploring relationships between humans and animals: The Sheep and the Goats by R.J. Kern, The Shepherd’s Daughter by Clare Benson, and Amelia and the Animals by Robin Schwartz. This is the first official review of my monograph published by Kehrer Verlag and I am honored to be featured along with the work of two accomplished artists, Clare Benson and Robin Schwartz! 

Click here to read the review on What Will You Remember published on March 27, 2018 >>

 Suzanne Révy reviews  The Sheep and the Goats  by R.J. Kern,  The Shepherd’s Daughter  by Clare Benson, and  Amelia and the Animals  by Robin Schwartz.

Suzanne Révy reviews The Sheep and the Goats by R.J. Kern, The Shepherd’s Daughter by Clare Benson, and Amelia and the Animals by Robin Schwartz.

Center for Creative Photography acquires COLLECTOR'S EDITION

The Center for Creative Photography (CCP) at the University of Arizona recently acquired a copy of the COLLECTOR'S EDITION of "The Sheep and the Goats" (ed 33/50)  for their permanent collection. The CCP is home to Ansel Adam's archive along with two of my mentors, Stuart Klipper and Wayne Gudmundson. I recently attended Mary Virginia Swanson's 2018 Masterclass and had a wonderful time (learn more on her blog here). During the workshop we met with Rebecca Senf, Chief Curator at CCP, and Terry Etherton and Daphne Srinivasan at the Etherton Gallery. These connections helped to facilitate the acquisition and I am extremely appreciative for their efforts.  

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New Acquisition by the Plains Art Museum

I am excited to announce the Plains Art Museum has acquired the COLLECTOR'S EDITION: "The Sheep and the Goats" for the museum collection. I am excited that the public will now be able to enjoy the work, especially the kids where were featured in the book and in the National Geographic magazine! This creative collaboration feature the work of Karen Aakre who assisted with the one the rarest forms of Norwegian skinnfell wood block printing on the inside of the wool felt envelope, as well as the spun wool and mohair yarn and relics. You can learn more about Karen's effort in this wonderful video by WCCO-CBS >>

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Book signing at Classic Photographs LA Art Fair

Join me for a book signing at the Classic Photographs Los Angeles Art Fair, February 3, 2018 from noon - 1 p.m. in the Klompching Gallery booth (G3, #30), located at the Bergamot Arts Center in Santa Monica, CA. I will have several COLLECTOR'S EDITIONS of "The Sheep and the Goats" with me (currently, 17/50 remaining). See you there!

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Now represented by Klompching Gallery in NY

Ringing in 2018 with some news: I'm excited and honored to announce representation by the Klompching Gallery in New York. Debra Klomp Ching and Darren Ching run a extraordinary gallery in Brooklyn and feature a roster of talented artists showcasing some of the best examples of contemporary photography. I'm delighted to work with them!

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My work will be featured in the Klompching booth at Classic Photographs LA February 2-4, 2018.

I will be signing books and offering the COLLECTOR'S EDITION in the booth on February 3 from noon - 1 p.m.

 

PDN

David Walker shares my journey in the January 2018 issue of PDN in his article, "R. J. Kern Segues from Weddings to Fine Art." He highlights the importance of mentors such as David Hobby, Joe McNally, Stuart Klipper, David Bram, and Martine Fougeron. Thank you, Mr. Walker!

CLICK HERE to read the article online >>

 Featured in Photo District News, January 2018. Featured photographs include "Attack of the Clones" created in Germany and "Mr. Hofsos" created in Iceland.

Featured in Photo District News, January 2018. Featured photographs include "Attack of the Clones" created in Germany and "Mr. Hofsos" created in Iceland.

Santa Fe New Mexican feature

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He writes, "First-place recipient of the Curator’s Choice Award, U.S. photographer R.J. Kern, offers a glimpse into a small subset of society in his series The Unchosen Ones, featuring the children and young adults from farming families who participate in animal contests at Minnesota county fairs, showing off their prized sheep and goats. Kern’s subjects are not the winners at these fairs. They are the losers, whose animals, which have names like Annabell, Hootie, and Doolittle, won no ribbons. In this context, the images seem to take on a deeper resonance, perhaps reflecting the dwindling lifeways of small, family-owned farms in the age of industrial agriculture, a way of life where strong bonds between children and animals may still be of some value. Although a few of Kern’s subjects appear disheartened, there is a sense of pride that comes through several portraits, which transcend categories such as “winner” and “loser.” Kern’s photographs reflect the subjects’ essential characters, deeming them all worthy of attention."

National Portrait Gallery catalogue

The folks at the National Portrait Gallery Publications did a great job designing and printing Taylor Wessig catalogue, or as we say it in the US, "catalog!" Excited to make the trip across the pond to London and see the show with my brother in February 2018!

 "Anna and Helen, Blue Earth County Fair, Minnesota, 2016" published in the National Portrait Gallery catalogue.  

"Anna and Helen, Blue Earth County Fair, Minnesota, 2016" published in the National Portrait Gallery catalogue.