Tuesday, December 28, 2010


Gallery of my images shot and printed on 20x24 silver Oriental Paper.
Guest and Host autographed images for the show and I donated the second copies to BAM

If your interested in purchasing a book of the bumpers you can find it on the following link.

Monday, December 27, 2010


photo of man playing a love song by Miles Davis on the Playa during a white out.

Your Patronage is Appreciated.

I photographed at last years Burning Man and I have to complete that project in spring of 2011.
I completed two projects from last season.
I sent prints to all the patrons for those projects prior to the last burn.

My first years trip wasn't possible without the help of friends and family and strangers.

I listed all those folks who were patrons to the project in the back of the book on "karma" pages. This will be a feature as well for 2010

This year has been a lot about art and recovering from a bad economy. I welcome any help for gas and supplies to support these two up and coming projects.

Last years books, the Catch of the Day and My Eyes are Burning, can be viewed on http://www.Blurb.com/ (search karen kuehn) books are posted at cost, no mark up.

I am seeking a publisher...Know any?

Thank you for your consideration and support to make art out of the Playa experience.
My goal is to historically cover this event with themes that best serve the community of Burning Man. This year its The Artist & their Art, plus The Love. Thank you tons. If your in a place you can help I would be grateful.

karen kuehn aka Diesel



1. DONATIONS OVER 100.00 will receive

11x14 signature silver print.
To be selected based on popularity and timelessness.
the best shot basically.

(Please make sure I have your address and amt donated)


Karen Kuehn
6 Frontier Ct
Peralta NM 87042
505 401 5987



Please check out my website http://www.karenkuehn.com/

and my books on http://www.blurb.com/
search karen kuehn

thank you so much.

karen kuehn

for those who don't know Burning Man
youtube has many fun clips.




He set the trends for photography. Look around everything you see mimics his work.
He knew light, his photographs were so easy to look at ...the light like honey just poured onto the subject like an epicurean delight....mouth watering and eyes in awe of the feeling you feel when viewing an original Irving Penn image. Inspirations are important he is one of mine since age 19
His photographs spoke to me as a younger woman. Duane Michal's, Sally Mann, all natural light shooters. I love chiaroscuro in paintings, Rembrandt, Caravaggio.
The shadow side of the light is what intrigues my way of seeing.
Once I was asked to do an interview about being a lighting master for PDN.
When the writer realized that I preferred natural light to artificial they decided to kill the story!
Go figure....seeing light is an art form in itself.
I feel light, many people do. You can walk into a great cathedral and see rays of light pouring upon the pews and go Wow....this whispers the Spirit to me.
The moonlight reflecting on a calm ocean during the winter can overwhelm you with its presence as a blessing.

When I lived in NYC I had a studio for 8 years in Tribeca. I lived on the top floor of a loft 49 Warren street just down from the Raccoon Lodge. The loft was about 1800sq ft. 14-18 ft ceilings, tin roofed, with north and south windows...three huge ones on each side.
I loved that loft. We could put up three sets in that space at one time. The north light was amazing not unlike the one here pictured that belonged to Irving Penn in Paris.
When I walk into a space I slip into it like a plant leaning toward the light.
I always look for the light.

One day I will build a studio/church space with a huge bank of windows facing North.
Technically you only need a small window about 5x5ft located high up to use for shooting.
Using fill cards and flats white and black are enough for sculpting light.
Less is MORE...my mantra for lighting.

As for my HERO...once upon a time I found a box that said
"Penn spells Quality"
I found it in Tennesse. Brought it back to NYC and wrote Irving a letter asking him if I could do his portrait. He wrote back and declined with a gift of a book signed and said...
"I belong behind the camera"

Thank you Irving God Rest Your Soul


I met Khempo at the Sun airport, we glanced at each other and the light in our hearts shined through with a child's playfulness. We were instant friends. The next day he had some gentlemen bring him to my farm so he could sit with me. We smiled a lot and laughed a lot.
The young men were in awe of him, mid thirties a monk and master Khempo. He asked me if I had any questions for him and did...I asked about intimacy and tantra connections. We spent the day together and he insisted on blessing my horses. They can't come back into the world without a blessing ....he spoke to my buckskin in Tibet and I looked at him and said he's American. Again we smiled with our eyes as our connection was a breath of fresh air. I've met many monks...they come to the US...get cars , girl friends and its not what one would think a monk would do right? Khempo Choga is sweet as pie. By the time he departed I looked at him and asked him..."Do you have any questions"? We laughed and didn't say another word.

I am so human feeling love and pain not unlike many....but when I put my needs aside I see the apex turning toward compassion and letting go of how others treat me good and poorly ...both are just a reflection that most likely has little to do with me in the bigger picture.

Buddhism has gifted me much of my access to situations and worldly event's with love, a caring heart and set of eyes. Sometimes I just have to remind myself that what I feel I do best is
to be a messenger. I have much work to do and lessons to learn. Sometimes daily things just push your buttons but living present and letting go of desire can free you up to make more loving and thoughtful images. Feelings good and bad are really all okay. I like to channel them into images and art. Buddhism has been a content reminder and an excelled tool to my Spiritual well being. I am far from being a master...I mess up all the time. I mean no harm to anyone.
But I do feel better in nature away from the trappings of city life. I feel healthier....I miss the work and cash flow that comes from the great cities but my life has been there done that and the next chapters are to be scripted in time with love and hopefully a lot of inspiration reflected.


Khempo Choga Blesses Dusty Rose and Joe Jetsin on my farm.

TO LOOK & FEEL is to know your alive

Turn your head away
Are you looking
Where and what do you feel
Observe quietly

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

photograph for the Heart Gallery Adoptions
Child in the shot is named Raven

Thursday, December 16, 2010


Fresh out of college graduated top of my class! Had no idea till I arrived at the commencement. Two days later I flew to Washington DC where I interned for six months at National Geographic Magazine. I wasn't much of a city gal so the posse at headquarters...
"Charpatta" the secretaries for the photographic department made my life wonderful. Along with Rich Clarkson and Tom Kennedy. I was on location working more than not! My first assignment was with Barry Bishop the first American up Mt Everest. We were to cover a mountain man gathering in Klaune National Park. Pow...a great project for me having worked as a US Park Ranger....currently reading Robert Service the Call of the Yukon. I was stoked. Here's a pic of Brad Washburn from that trip it was the first published image in a national magazine.


In the late 80's I was asked to be the show photographer for Saturday Night Live. I couldn't believe it! At the time I was working on a rather heavy story for Psychology Today. I was wandering the streets of NYC looking for child prostitution. It was a reality check for a young woman like myself. I was about 27 years old and immortal to all danger. I was driven and drawn to the world as it was exposed to me daily with all my assignments. I had access to the entire Universe and fear was never a part of my life or vocabulary. The NBC art director, former show photographer Eddie Baskin hired me to bring some sort of new vision to the TV bumpers. She was a hard act to follow as she had been the photographer that hand colored and did all the huge stars during the most classic time of SNL. The didn't want to pay much as I recall and since I was working on a real journalism story that had a complete opposite spectrum. From being entrenched in humanity and realism that would turn your stomach one moment to the bright lights of a live sound stage full of belly laughs. My life seemed intensified by the journalism job in hand. Anyone would do the SNL job for free or less but I found it easy to ask for more as I needed to just survive living in NYC. The gig was contracted and I had an interesting season and it will always be a great chapter in my career. Here's a pic of Sting ( the show called him "stengy" in the skits) I did about 10-12 different shots for the TV bumpers, made custom portfolios for all the guest host / music talent and I had tow 20x24 prints signed and mounted on the walls to the NBC studio during my stint. I have a book of these bumpers on blurb books and hope to find a publisher for that series. Thanks Eddie and Loren Michals.

SNL Bumpers
Archive of SNL
Favorite Sting song.

Monday, December 6, 2010

"Q U O T E S " from some folks I respect.

"As a photography editor, I find myself tempted to put artists into slots. This person is a portraitist. That person works in black and white. This photographer shoots musicians. That photographer does documentary work. I simply can’t do this kind of thing with Karen Kuehn’s photography. She is able to drop in and photograph truck drivers, artists, kids, and CEOs with equal grace. She moves effortlessly from color to black and white, and when and why to use each. Most important, she comes back with images that have both surface richness and a real depth of emotion."

David Schonauer

Editor in Chief

American Photo

When I first saw Karen’s work many years ago, I was overwhelmed with the quality and the technical perfection of her beautiful images while surprised to hear that all were created with one camera and one lens.

Since then, Karen has maintained the quality in her work but started to produce images with a unique touch and style obviously created in the imaginative mind of the photographer long before they are recorded in the camera. As a result, every image has a new approach that is completely different from what has been created before so that every new image brings a new and unexpected surprise. More importantly, each image that Karen creates is the type of image that one desires to see over and over and that one remembers for a long time. This, I feel, is the characteristic of a great photograph that is likely to become in important part of the photographic history.

Ernst Wildi

"We have been committed to photography that tells a story, often a
story that affects us all and has formed a collective and shared
memory of key events in our time. Karen has spent her life in this
great tradition, photographing people and places across the United
States. If Karen didn't capture it, one might miss this part of
America. Her chronicles bring together far-away characters and her
tenderness makes them all familiar."

Michelle and Sidney Monroe
Monroe Gallery SF NM

I hate being photographed. My face looks wooden in pictures, as if carved by a sculptor who studied art at a school he found on the back of a pack of matches and had got to about lesson 4. And, of course, nothing really prepares you for what your body looks like on film. It's not just the 10 pounds the lens supposedly adds under your skin-­it's the *way* it does it-- like an incompetent taxidermist had stuffed it in a hurry.

So, when Karen showed up to take my picture in August of 1992(?), I wasn't having any of it. I know every photographic trick in the book and I was determined not to fall for them. Just the facts, ma'am: I was prepared to offer up just the bare minimum.

Well, yes, that's just what I did: Within 30 minutes I was stripped down to my birthday suit and was swinging like a Playboy bunny on the tire swing. How did this woman do it?? She is funny, weirder than water and so damn good with a camera. She can charm a snake into a lawnmower, casting a spell over our hum-drum, quotidian lives ...From within that fantasy spell emerge her trademark evocative, vital and honest images.

Sally Mann



When Karen Kuehn comes roaring up on a cloud to take your picture be very afraid because she's no ordinary body snatcher she's a lover with a camera who'll make your dreams immortal and by the way, watch out for your petunia because she'll sniff it out and light it up nice and pretty and then you know it will be on the cover of some big glossy magazine and your mama will say why'd you have to go and show that dang girl everything?
Because she was irresistible mama you will say.

Karen Kuehn carries a camera to show the world what unconventional joy looks like.
Its true.

Donna Ferrato

Karen Kuehn's work resounds with her wit, charm and humanity. She reminds
the viewer of how to see again as if through the eyes of a child, filled
with wonder and amazement. Her work is permeated with the joy and love of
life, therein lies her true gift.

Malcolm Burn
Music Producer

It was a great pleasure years ago to receive Matrix submission for
syndication: material well Among them I had always the joy to see the
portraits of Karen of famous people. The reason to me was that she succeeds,
in the magic triangle that connects the photographer, the subject in the
picture and the public that will see the picture , to convey a statement of
culture and knowledge about the subject and in the same time a deep
emotional curiosity to know more about him. This si done with her peculiar
aesthetic style very clean and straight concentrating on the people and
taking out of them their sensibility. Look at the difference between Tom
Hanks and Sting. Two very different people two different souls and the same
way of revealing two completely different personalities.

Grazia Neri/Italy

Karen Kuehn's portraits are dynamic because they are suffused with her radiant energy. She elicits responses from her subjects that are transformed into portraits of immediacy, strength and beauty through the quick-fire play of her imagination. She doesn't do this occasionally ­she does it all the time. She isn't just lucky. She is good. Very good. She finds that angle, that mood, that light ­that inner quality ­and makes it manifest. Each portrait is as unique as its subject and her vision­ there's no "look," no formula, but a commitment behind the lens to the person in front of it and the skill to merge the two."

Brigitte Carnochan

"The look she got in New Orleans was if time had stood still, timeless, you could smell the swamp and feel the wetness in the air. Some of the best photos I've seen that capture the real vibe. It was like a great old record that you couldn't turn off, she has the eye."

Mark Howard
Music Producer

"Come One, Come All . . .
Karen Kuehn Colossal Foto Carnival
See the Lamp Girl and Pool Girl!
See Steve Martin smirk with a Pokka Dot hat!
See the shocking Spank me Baby!
See Cher like you've never seen her before!
Be shocked by Robert Downey Jr. with Cactus!
Be amazed by Estee Lauder and Son under glass!
Watch the Dancing Trees Dance!
And you'll never forget Godzilla in Paris!
No two Photos Alike.
Each one a surprise a& Original


"The best photographic portraits are not always taken, sometime they are simply given. Because of some unknown human chemistry one photographer is allowed to penetrate the surface of a personality while another image maker may simply come up with a picture that is clever but not terribly revealing. Judging by the broad variety of her portrait oeuvre, Karen Kuehn seems to have a distinct ability to connect with her subjects. Better than clever, Kuehn pictures are composed with fine aesthetic sensibilities. She is in full command of the space and light used and then somehow draws out the individual so the viewer connects not just with the photographer's personality and sensibilities, but more importantly, with the subject in front of the lens. She sees them in basic, simple ways, using each millimeter of space with great sense of balance and grace. Then, it appears she gets them to like the process and give her the picture she wants. I think it would be interesting to be photographed by Karen Kuehn. Nice, and probably fun."

William Albert Allard

"Karen Kuehn is a wonderfully imaginative photographer fully in command
of her art and craft. She blends impeccable technique with strong
artistic vision and a ferocious energy that is utterly disarming and
frank, while also being charming. Her collaborations with subjects rest
on an ability to focus her vision while eliciting their full
cooperation. The results are magic moments."

Tom Kennedy
Director of Photography where ever he goes...NGS, the post, etc

"Karen Kuehn is one of the most innovative photographers of this
generation. Just when you think you know her style, she produces
photographs unlike what you had previously seen -- or expected. Some
photographers bring "a fresh view" to their subjects, but Karen brings
a fresh view every time -- fresh unto herself. As such, she combines
unusual creativity with an ability to interpret and to get amazing
cooperation from her subjects that produce unexpected -- and incisive

Rich Clarkson
Legend in our own time, sage to many

"After teaching photography for 32 years at Cypress College in Southern California, I can tell you that it doesn't take long to spot the students with the drive and creative passion to learn photography. Karen Kuehn was one of those students. From the very beginning, she showed a flare for a bright, new and different approach to each of her assignments. Instructors would pass around her projects amongst themselves, commenting on her rather bold and unorthodox approach to another assignment...and they were always good! In a "studio practices" class that Karen was taking, I gave an assignment to photograph a bright, shiny metal object. Karen signed up for a four -hour block of time. Most students signed up for one or two hours. At one point on the appointed day, I stepped into the studio awash with white back ground paper everywhere. In the middle of the sea of white paper, Karen stood next to a gleaming chromed wheel from her father's vintage Ferrari. No one had ever done a car wheel before Karen came along. The wheel was elegant, and the resulting photograph blew everyone away. That's the Karen I know."

David F. Drake, Professor Emeritus

"Restaurants in Georgetown smelling up my office in Washington DC. That's how I remember Karen Kuehn. She was just getting started in photography and was showing me results of a project she was working on. Photos of chefs. They weren't ordinary and they stopped me in my tracks. Smell isn't the right word -- it was some kind of aroma that put right into the kitchens of those subjects. From that day on, I always looked forward to seeing her work."

Bruce Dale


"Karen Kuehn is a good friend and colleague

She also creates visuals of everything she has ever thought and felt, everyone she has met and places she has been along the way. …down to the smallest detail. I think that all these pictures combine into a record her life and times that allow others to experience these slices of life in an intimate way…. filtered through her eyes. Karen is a great storyteller about people and their emotions. She is leaving us a unique and intimate record or her time and travels that we should all reference from time to time. She is energetic, enthusiastic, intense and infectious character that can talk most anyone out of their clothes and out into a field in about 15 minutes. This says a lot about her…but I think it also says something about the rest of us at the same time. You will never forget the experience and there will be a large print on your wall to remind you of what you got talked into that day."

Chip Simons

"Karen’s works are masterpieces.

I know I have one on my wall."

Antonin Kratochvil


"karen kuehn's work is not only intriguing but she is a technical wizard. I love the way she mixes different styles yet it always has a touch of her in it: just a little sense of fun. Karen's work has a sense of nostalgia that is in the present that is all her. Her black and white is so great and can get the same point across in color. Her lighting and angles are right on for what she is trying to say. Karen lights up a room when she enters and i know that clients trust her which allows the most creativity to flourish. I think Karen's work is so refreshing. There isn't enough happiness in photography these days, some of it tries too hard, Karen's work just is cool"

Josette Lata

JW Thompson NYC

" It has been my pleasure to work with Karen Kuehn

throughout the years on various important advertising projects.

I always felt confident that she would be able to achieve

exactly what we were after and have never been disappointed

with the final results.

Karen is a fine shooter and a unique human being"

Sonia Zobel

VP Senior Art Producer

McCann Erickson

"My inner voice was shouting “Give this girl a gig!” when I first met Karen Kuehn as Photo Editor of Travel & Leisure magazine circa 1981 - 82 . We were both pretty new at the publishing game. The editors had a tight knit stable of photographers they liked to use over and over . I finally convinced them to try Karen on an assignment and everyone was glad I did. What was unique about the relationship and the nature of the collaboration with Karen was the level of trust between us. I trusted Karen’s passionate commitment to her art and she trusted my ability to see it through to it’s most powerful end .We had an amazing run of assignments where I would not give Karen a specific directive or tell her what the editors were envisioning for the story. I honestly remember saying “ Karen I’d like you to go to this Island for a week or so, take what you need and shoot it the way you see it.” Inevitably Karen would come back and tell me “the way I see will require that I use a light leaking Holga with infra red black & white film using coyote urine as a stop bath.” I never questioned or regretted getting behind Karen’s ideas and visions , they were so clear and pure . I just felt an obligation to do what I could to support her efforts. The readers, editors, writers, advertisers and competition judges were always blown away by her work. I think the excitement came from the element of surprise because the work was truly original, had loads of content and connection . However , it was never ever what was expected."

Bill Black

Readers Digest Editor/Photography Director

Karen, she's got moxie. The result is these pictures, at times strange and superb; and at other times, so straightforward, direct and simple as to make my lips ache from too much smiling. But simple is hard and weird is wonderful and Karen is, well Karen and thank god for her amazing talent. It makes you feel.

Bob Sacha