Bushes and Succulents
Bushes & Succulents is Mona Kuhn’s celebration of the female essence - confident, raw and elegant, yet confrontational and unapologetic.
Mona Kuhn (b. 1969, São Paulo, Brazil) is a photographer and lens-based media artist of German descent.
Bushes & Succulents is Mona Kuhn’s celebration of the female essence - confident, raw and elegant, yet confrontational and unapologetic. She returned to the darkroom for the very first reason she fell in love with photography: the latent image. Inspired by the 1920s photo-surrealists, Kuhn explores the ethereal quality of solarization, a darkroom process that unites photography with sketching, in which the subject seems drawn by the alchemist's pencil, resulting in prints with layers of oxidized silver glow in the form of crystalized magic.
Reminiscent of Georgia O’Keefe’s floral paintings, your eyes wander around the graceful lines, not knowing exactly what you are looking at. The solarisation process reveals human imperfections, not only in the metallic brilliance of the skin, but also brings to the surface a woman’s struggles, strengths, and power.
“The frame reminded me of early childhood, at age eight or so, when I would jump in the shower with my mother. It resonates an adoration and child-like curiosity for what it is to be a woman. My intention is not to objectify the body, but to celebrate the female body and its essence.
It was crucial for me to collaborate with women of various ages, ethnic backgrounds and body shapes. I wanted to embrace their beauty, their gracious moves, as well as their skin marks and signs of life. My intention is to bring them all together, to unify, just like Gwendolyn Brook's poem, which emphasizes the word "we". The power and beauty of my work lies in the confidence and naturalness of the people I photographed.” - Mona Kuhn