Photographer R.J. Kern’s first solo show in New York is currently on view at Klompching Gallery. The exhibition brings together a selection of images from Kern’s three acclaimed series: The Unchosen Ones, Out To Pasture and Divine Animals: The Bovidae.
Kern (b. 1978) is based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. His work explores ideas of home, ancestry, and a sense of place through the interaction of people, animals and cultural landscapes.
“Kern’s photography is firmly rooted in presenting the human affect on the landscape and an inquisitive exploration of humanity through man’s relationship with domestic animals,” states the gallery in the press release.
The Unchosen Ones features young people posing with the animas they have raised for entry into animal competitions at county fairs across Minnesota. The animals and handlers pictured are not winners; they are those who came in last place. The handlers expressions of indifference, defiance and upset acceptance represent the universality of these human emotions.
The goats and sheep depicted in Out To Pasture are animals that have been retired from competition and commercial purposes. They’re seen in the landscapes they call home, elegantly photographed as they roam free.
To create the series Divine Animals: The Bovidae, Kern traveled to Ireland, Germany, Norway and Iceland, exploring both his family’s geographical heritage and the central role of goats, sheep and rams in the lives of his farming ancestors.
Artists Weave, Sew and Assemble to Expand the Photograph
The Sheep and the Goats
Career Change: R.J. Kern Moves from Weddings to Fine Art (for PDN subscribers; login required)