Geof Kern: Midtown Exit

The Fahey/Klein Gallery is pleased to present Geof Kern Midtown Exit, a selection of photographs taken throughout Kern’s career which beautifully demonstrate his ability to illustrate whimsical scenes with a cinematic aesthetic. Kern’s multifaceted style combines photography and illustration and redefines the traditional photographic genres of fashion and still life. He uses fabricated sets and pseudo-suburban scenes to mock the mundane. Steering away from high profile models, Kern prefers neighbors, acquaintances, and locals to take stage in his fanciful constructed realities. His approach to the “everyday” and domestic subject matter is riddled with irony, imagination, and subtle humor. In 1994 Kern was commissioned by Creative Director Georgia Christiansen, for the 30 page NeimanMarcus Fall fashion spread, The Art of Fashion. This prestigious annual campaign was first shot by Richard Avedon, followed by Helmut Newton and Annie Leibovitz. Kern’s story depicts a girl who longs to become a famous fashion model, and scene by scene, slowly evolves into a stiff and lifeless mannequin. The controversial spread was later declared by Time Magazine as the “Best print campaign of 1995.” Praised by some of the most prominent fashion magazines and creative ad agencies today, Kern approaches photography with a distinct vision.

“I began my career in the early 80’s when art and commercial photography were two completely different worlds entirely. Maybe because I didn’t know any better, I just started photographing what I wanted and people got excited about it. Word spread… I became known as a ‘surrealist’ because there was no other word to describe what I was doing,” says Kern. One of the most sought after commercial photographers working today, Kern has an impressive resume decorated with prestigious clients, as well as numerous campaigns and awards. Shooting for NeimanMarcus, Vanity Fair, New York Times, Harper’s Bazaar, Esquire, GQ, and Bloomingdales, Kern has become known for his stylized, surrealist narratives. Geof Kern received The Alfred Eisenstaedt Award for Magazine Photography from Columbia University (2000), as well as the prestigious Infinity Award in Applied Photography from The International Center Of Photography, New York (1993). In 2000 a selection of his work became part of the permanent collection of The Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Louvre, Paris.

A portrait of Geof Kern

About the Author

Geof Kern (Brooklyn, New York 1950) is an American photographer whose career spans over four decades. Although working in the commercial arena, Kern was exclusively sought for his personal aesthetic and given freedom to develop ideas which he sketched once commissioned. He is best known for his numerous collaborations with clients such as Matsuda Tokyo, Takashimaya, Interface, and Neiman-Marcus, as well as editorial projects for magazines internationally, including Esquire, The New York Times, Beach Culture, Spy, and Rolling Stone.
Among many professional honors he is a recipient of the peer-nominated Infinity Award in Applied Photography from The International Center Of Photography (ICP), New York. Other awards include the Alfred Eisenstaedt Award for Magazine Photography from Columbia University, New York, Cannes Lions, and a Grammy for Album Art.
His work is included in the permanent collections of the Musée Des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, the London Design Museum, Musée des Beaux-Arts de Montréal, and The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

Geof Kern: Midtown Exit
May 4, 2023 through June 10, 2023
Fahey/Klein Gallery – Los Angeles – USA

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