View Full Version : The Karen Kuehn Portrait

Kirk Gittings
20-Jun-2006, 19:45
Some months back I was looking to borrow an 8x10 bellows for a portrait that was being done of me for a book on artists. The photographer, Karen Kuehn, had appeared at one of my openings last year and offered to shoot me. Karen is an extraordinary talent and I was very flattered. But with Karen you never know where she is going to go...................

Here is one of the images done of me by the notorious Karen Kuehn. Wanting to see where her vision took her, I gave her complete creative license.

If you are not familiar with Karen:


Kirk Gittings
20-Jun-2006, 19:47
Special thanks to Ralph Barker and Juergen Sattler for lending me bellows for the shoot.

Karl Gruenewald
20-Jun-2006, 19:56
I love it! The similarity between large format cameras and accordions never hit me until I saw that photo!

Ron Marshall
20-Jun-2006, 20:29
All that is missing is a little monkey on a leash.

Ralph Barker
20-Jun-2006, 21:01
Interesting, to say the least.

Oren Grad
20-Jun-2006, 21:08
Shows a strong sense of direction.

Jim Galli
20-Jun-2006, 21:27
Hope that's not your stock portfolio just to your right. Great shot!

Frank Petronio
20-Jun-2006, 21:37
ur2kewl !

Kirk Gittings
20-Jun-2006, 21:43
The idea of a monkey was explored. I had no friends who could loan one or pass for one.

The arrow has real meaning. See the second paragraph. the original site is now a ruin and the arrows are gone.


Kirk Gittings
20-Jun-2006, 22:07
Let me correct that. I had friends who could pass for a monkey reasonably well, but none who were willing to.

Oren Grad
20-Jun-2006, 22:16
Kirk, will it be possible to see the rest of them?

20-Jun-2006, 22:22
I see the monkey (minkee) and the accordian, but where's Kirk?

Kirk Gittings
20-Jun-2006, 22:28

Karen is very intense and intuitive when working and it was a treat to work with her.

My ego would prefer a more dignified view, but as a carricature of what the day to day reality of an artist's life is really like? It is bang on.

I'd just as soon be infamous as famous......

Another infamous image that I have participated in by Alan Labb, a professor at the Art Institute of Chicago. This image has shown all over the country.


Allen Rumme
21-Jun-2006, 07:23
Way cool, Kirk!

I hope we get to see the rest of them.

21-Jun-2006, 07:31

Keith S. Walklet
21-Jun-2006, 07:40
Terrific image! My favorite portrait of hers (hard to pick) was for a story in Audubon where she photographed a scientist with a cow pie in front of his face. Did you know that in her earlier life she was an NPS ranger in Yosemite?

Kirk Gittings
21-Jun-2006, 09:01

Nothing would surprise me about the magical KK.

Kirk Gittings
21-Jun-2006, 09:04

One of the inexhaustible stream of stories about the notorious KK that I have yet to hear.

Kirk Gittings
21-Jun-2006, 09:07
Here is one of the others:


This is me doing my Orson Wells, late in life and broke, imitation.

Keith S. Walklet
21-Jun-2006, 09:17
LOL! You could do a good Pappy (Hemingway), too!

Yes, she is magical. I'll never forget our chance meeting. A mutual friend introduced us in the produce section of the Village Store. She was looking for fresh vegetables, and there I was...

We exchanged pleasantries and she headed off to the checkout counter with her peppers. ;-)

Donald Brewster
21-Jun-2006, 14:37
I am not even going to ask which one is you in the Labb photo . . . . .

Mike H.
21-Jun-2006, 15:09
So, Kirk, what do you think about the image?

Mike H.
21-Jun-2006, 15:13
Oops! Sorry. There were two more pages of comments I missed again, and one of them was a comment by you which pretty much answered my question. Thanks.

Kirk Gittings
21-Jun-2006, 15:22
My ego would prefer a more dignified view, but as a carricature of what the day to day reality of an artist's life is really like? It is bang on.

And especially as a carricature of my life as an artist. It is bang on. I oftentimes feel like a street musician playing for spare change as I know Karen does ttoo.

Frank Petronio
22-Jun-2006, 05:21
What I want to see is a photo of Karen, I see she is all tatted up and quite awesome

22-Jun-2006, 15:05
Hi Kirk,

All I can say is, "WOW!"

I'm not quite sure of what else to say! :)



Kirk Gittings
22-Jun-2006, 18:41
The one and only:


Frank Petronio
22-Jun-2006, 20:32
She just rocks

Kirk Gittings
22-Jun-2006, 21:18
More of Karen

Kirk Gittings
22-Jun-2006, 21:33
and more Karen


Kirk Gittings
22-Jun-2006, 21:40
and last but not least...........


Ralph Barker
23-Jun-2006, 06:23
Shouldn't that be a Cadillac with BIG fins? ;)

Frank Petronio
23-Jun-2006, 08:34
Now Karen and a can of shaving cream...mmmm

14-Feb-2008, 23:52
All right, for my art project this semester, Iím doing a portrait with the face in a cubist style and the background will be abstract and I was wondering if anyone had any good photos that would be good to put in a portrait with certain outstanding facial features. Or if you know of a site where there are images of them! Please help me with my project. Thanks.

Tom Conway
15-Feb-2008, 13:03
How about a little polka music in the background? Where is Frankie Yankovic (Midwest humor) when you need him the most?