Friday, April 22, 2011


The Luna Mansion in Los Lunas

A Little Food Rambling

Every so often a magazine asks me to shoot food.
I started photographing food in NYC with the Sunday NY Times magazine a few decades ago.
I have sat with some of the finest chefs in the world due to my career.
Photographing Julie Childs, Mark Miller, David Bouley and even Martha Stewart for starters.
Notably my favorite dining spots; NOBU, Odeon, Ecco and amazing Cuban rice and black bean huevos at the West Side Coffee shop in Tribeca. This was the artist am hang , jam packed with 12 tables max and sleepy neighbors. Just thinkin about it makes me miss my loft and NYC lifestyle.
I couldn't walk down the street without bumping into some one I knew.
My kids dad couldn't walk my hound dog Vern without everyone having to say hi to one of the few hound dogs residing in Manhattan.
That dog was like the Disney character Goofy.
God rest his sweet soul.

Big cities are full of hot spots, speak easy's, tapas and fine dining.
My memory is eclectic and savors the interesting things that chefs do to make a dish signature.
At Roules in NYC the pepper steak, will make your eyes roll.
Le Cirque served incredible food on plates with a playful monkey design pattern.
The hotel Coronado in San Diego serves coffee in cups with a crown designed into the surface.
I remember bringing two home for the budding writer David Sadaris and his boy friend Hugh, my set designer for many projects.
Having traveled about the world I remember odd details, not just the food but moments and enticing experiences that made dining monumental.
Often I would stay up all night processing film and printing, only to take a break for a snack at the Odeon with illustrator Christoph Hitz (
We were there about 2am 5 nights a week.
3-5 cappuccinos, cream spinich and a sweet treat, than back to the darkroom to till dawn.
Late nights making art. Tribeca was bohemian at that time and having one of the more interesting loft spaces I had pot lucks at least once a month.
50-100 friends and strangers stopping in for food and music.
Bands like the Spin Doctors , Chris Whitley, GE Smith Band and Dan Lanois would jam for these shin digs. We had a blast and there was such a vitality to feasting with the pagans.
Flavor is for me like a rose full of fragrance.
Mark Miller has been my friend for a almost two decades now and between dining out and going to shows on Broadway. I met Mark shooting him for the NY Times Sunday magazine with a review for the Red Sage in Washington DC.
I tied him up and put a chili pepper and a shot in front of him.
Mark is one of the more brilliant chefs and anthropologist.
His home library must be about 2000 square feet of books in a temperature controlled environment. Last year I photographed Mark for his pr images and in trade he gave me two cases of hand picked wines of which I gave to the Mind Shaft camp at Burning Man.
This was my way of saying thank you to the group.
Oddly I didn't get to drink one drop of wine at this last years burn!
Hopefully they enjoyed it all.
All the bottles were hand picked by Mark Miller for my friends.
I saved one for chef and CEO Todd Koon's
(former chef for Alice Waters Chez Panisse)
Owner of Epic Roots Foods
Currently Todd is my most supportive patron for my art projects at Burning Man
I can appreciate all the nuances that a chef has to blend for a mouth watering explosion.
Pure ecstasy to one's pallet.

And its not just flavor but the design and color that is also part of a chef's artistry.
I prefer less food with more flavor and appealing color.
Depak Chopra recommends eating rainbow colored foods.
Eat Taste Heal
While on the topic of food. One of my favorite websites is
Crazy Sexy Cancer.
Recently I purchased several of the books for an acquaintance; Lloyd Taylor/crew and member
of the Bliss Dance Project.
Marco Cochrane Artist behind the Bliss Dance.

A great team where all your donations can make art for the masses to enjoy.
Sadly Lloydster passed from cancer. Rest in peace you wild sweet soul.
I will forever appreciate him opening the Bliss camp for me to stay regardless of my decline.
So many amazing people in this camp, and Todd Koon's is the chef for this camp as well.
Amongst over many humble titles lets just say Todd it the most generous soul to many.
The camp to wander into at dining time...if your so lucky you will be satiated with a plate of yummy food cooked for the huge Bliss crew.
As for the dreaded topic of cancer and food seg-way...
I feel you can starve the cancer by eliminated the 10 top cancer foods and adding the 10 top anti cancer foods. Check out the Crazy Sexy Diet book for eating to live longer.

The photographs in this blog were shot for a local magazine here in my state.
The New Mexico magazine sent me off to cover eight locations in two towns this week.
Los Luna's and Belen for their food section.
From the local Donut King to the fine dining at a haunted mansion.
Fabian West the art director/ photography editor asked me if I would like to do some food stories for the magazine.
She was afraid I wouldn't want to due to the State budgets being fairly modest! I wasn't and it was great to go pop around to 4 locations a day meeting some of the locals shooting food.
My best friend Susan Goldman; a terrific re known food shooter out of New York City would laugh at me. Food is tricky but I usually dive into it as a journalist as the magazines don't have budgets for studios and food stylist unless its a gourmet magazine or one in a food nature.
Here's a little sample of food shot here on location run and gun.

Be sure to look at the link for Susan's work she's incredible.
Call her for any food or product work.
Food photography is an art in itself and where I slaughter it she makes love to it.
(link in label section below

A kiss is a great way to start and end a meal.

TIME - Top 100

Photograph by Karen Kuehn for Time
Editor Natalie Matutschovsky - styling by Kelly Miller

George R.R. Martin

Storyteller by John Hodgman

I had two missions last summer. One was to watch The Wire because I was tired of admitting I hadn't seen it. The other was to read George R.R. Martin's A Game of Thrones.

The experiences turned out to be surprisingly similar. Both kidnapped me to intimately drawn worlds with stories of a grim conflict and characters so achingly human that you end up rooting, tragically, for both sides. And neither one has dragons in it — at least, not at first. Martin, 62, is as fine a researcher as he is a storyteller, and he packs in enough miserable fact about the meanness of medieval life that it occasionally echoes Baltimore in its harshness.

With HBO's adaptation and Martin's long-awaited fifth book in the A Song of Ice and Fire series about to be published, my endorsement isn't necessary. But I'll still feel compelled, like all those fans of The Wire, to pull you aside and tell you that Tyrion Lannister is the best character in fiction since Stringer Bell and that if you have not read these books, you should be ashamed of yourself.

Hodgman, a humorist, is the author of The Areas of My Expertise and the forthcoming That Is All

High Heels to Hiken Boots

A photographers life has to be flexible if they want to grow.


I've always felt that a person's shoes can really tell you a story about who they are as well as who they even may want to be in life.
Shoes have been linked to the woman's sexual organs as denoted in
the book; The Brain in Love by Daniel Amen in his first chapter.
An insightful book with so many obvious facts about the brain.
I think its important to wear the right shoe for the occasion.
I am on my feet a lot and I lug heavy gear in and out of my truck, airplanes and onto sets as well as into other countries.
When I travel I prepare for walking and swimming, hot a cold.
My normal shoe is an engineer boot, they only last me one year before my feet start to hurt.
I like chucks for jobs as they are fresh and light and smart for movement.
I love high heels but rarely do I get to wear them unless entertaining.
Snow my feet love the warmth so the Keen boot is amazing for the freeze and walking on ice and slippery surfaces they can save you from a fall.
Cowboy boots are great for riding and dresses...a good heel and smooth soul for slipping out of the stirrup or a smooth dance two step.
No matter what kind of photographer you want to be or have become make sure your prepared for all the situations that may arise.
I always keep jeans and work boots in my truck.
I can switch gears rapidly for something unforeseen shooting option.
Sometimes you just want to go with the wind and a random invite might mean stopping by a campfire at an artist compound or a gallery stroll.
Be prepared.
Life is more interesting when you can adapt to all the possibilities rather than make excuses why you can't.
Old tired dogs stay on the porch and kick your feet up.
Me I'm dancing, surfing, hiking, and diving into the next adventure.
My feet must be happy.
And men pedicures are not for women work hard and your feet are where many pressure points live and they need lots of love too.
If you want to love your their feet.
I have given many a foot message for my pregnant friends as well as the deserved lover.
Love your feet.
Next trip...Colorado River I think I will pack my surf shoes.
One last thought for the road...protect your feet.
I have known photographers that have waded into polluted waters in the south only to have their entire system attacked by some strange contaminant in the swamp land.
This was one of my professors at Art Center. He was a car photographer he was forever crippled.
Michael "Nick" Nichols is a friend that has done most of the profound stories on the Congo for National Geographic. You don't want to see his feet.
Back in the day I remember him saying he had all kinds of bugs that attacked his system.
The feet are an entry point to the soul and we must guard them from absorption of strange bacterias and virus. Look where you leap and think about all the possibility's and be safe.
Check out Nicks work on his website I'm sure he will have many a tale to share.
He's still upright and walking, shockingly.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

What Stops You

Old Town NM Wall Art on the South Side of the Plaza

What stops me?
Everything and anything. It's good to stop and when you do ask yourself why?
Today while shooting with Eason Eige; Artist/ Collector we walked by this wall mural at a cigar store. I love roosters. So much I have five that seem to get along most of the time.
This image made me think of a few people I know.
One friend loves cigars and the other was born in the year of the cock.
I really find roosters interesting. Biologically people feel no different.
They strut their stuff to get the attention of not one but all the females.
Collecting them and making it known that they are the prize of there coup.
Very territorial. They run around jumping upon the females ...running from one to the other.
Males are like this in real life. I don't much like it but its a fact of life.
Lions in a pride, roosters in a coup, the stallion of a herd.
Men with women. It's natural.
Its really unnatural for them to mate with one for life.
Storks and some birds mate like this for life.
I feel America has brainwashed us to think we must be with one person.
My entire life monogamous was drilled into me.
If you want to photograph something study its nature.
Animal or mankind.
Nature stops me and makes me think about all the bigger things in life.
Like how not to try to control where I put every step along the way but to look at how I make a foot print. How carefully, how deep, how not to leave a trace like John Muir!
Consciously and with intent I am very clear about my curiosity of what intrigues me to stop and look and feel when time is allowed to really be present rather than rushing around like a chicken with its head cut off.
Take time, look and note your feelings.
Tomorrow may never arrive.

Sunday, April 17, 2011


My dear friend Jenny Jensen is editing.
I am not the sort of person that is particularly anal about my punctuation; however in book form I really need someone to finesse my feelings and still keep my voice in tact. Jenny is very good at this and I highly recommend her to you for personal projects in book publishing.
Check out the link below, also posted under labels.

Saturday, April 16, 2011


Cover Design and Illustrations by Dana Wotruba

Photographs for Book Cover Shoot by Arthur Scharf

Add a little bit of copy and bleed front and back.
A book of stories and photographs about my career in photography.
The stories range in emotional content.
My goal always to evoke emotions to make the viewer feel something rather than stagnate as an observer, often a feeling pulls one into a scenario with humor or compassion.
From celebrity to the elders next door, my dog passing away, hot rods and babes so delisious.
Coming soon.


photo by Arthur Scharf

Last weekend's book publishing seminar concluded with the completion of an anthology of my career in the beginning. I was told by Darius Himes and Mary Swanson that they wanted to see me on the cover. Reluctant again I said I did not want to be under the scrutiny of my peers as an ego maniac for doing so! Their response is that my peers are not paying my bills and that I wanted to get more work from producing this book filled with stories about all the photographs taken. At least 240 photos in a 12x12 book .
I hope to have it hit home with not only my clients but students as the journey being a photographer is a vast and intrepid one.
The shots taken today by my pal Arthur are very detailed and about cameras and gestures...body empowered to say the least. I can't post the other shots as they may end up on the cover and back cover. I thank Darius and Mary for encouraging me to re shoot the cover.
I had a blast today and I love my "Parade" camera so Arthur got of few really fun and flirty shots of me with this camera that is near and dear to me and has earned me half of my life.

The Rollie Rocks it Every time

Thursday, April 14, 2011


The Albuquerque Museum of Art and History

"Dear Ms. Kuehn:
I am writing to let you know that the Albuquerque Public Art Program has just donated ten of your works to the Albuquerque Museum of Art and History. The works were accepted by our Art Advisory Committee at their meeting yesterday afternoon. We are pleased to have your work represented in the Museum's collection particularly because we already have a very strong collection of portraits of artists and your images will augment this group significantly."

Andrew Connors
Curator of Art
Albuquerque Museum of Art and History
The donated works are:

Roger Atkins
Larry Bell
Cheryl Dietz
John Garett
Betty Hahne
Nicholas Herrera
Norman Mauskopf
Frank McCulloch
Patrick Nagatani
Jennifer Vasher
Jim Wagner

Much Gratitude to the Curators and Advisory Committee.
I'd like to thank the City of Albuquerque Public Arts Program.
I thank you for this wonderful privilege.

The Artist of New Mexico
Foreword by Mary Anne Redding
Mary Anne Redding photographed by karen kuehn

Curator of Photography for the Palace of the Governors/New Mexico History Museum,
has more than twenty-five years experience
working as a curator, archivist, librarian,
educator, and arts administrator.
She holds a B.A. in English Literature
from Ohio University, an M.A. in Arts
Administration from the School of the Art
Institute of Chicago, an M.L. S. from the
University of Illinois, Champaign/Urbana,
and as advanced certificate in Museum
Studies from Arizona State University, Tempe.
She has written and published numerous
essays on photography and contemporary
art. Recent publications include Through the
Lens: Creating Santa Fe published by the MNM
Press in conjunction with the exhibition
at the Palace of the Governors that runs
through October 25, 2009 and Grasslands/
Separating Species published by Radius Books in
conjunction with the exhibition at 516 Arts
in Albuquerque on view until December 12,

Monday, April 11, 2011

One of My Inspirations

photo by karen kuehn for the NYT Sunday Magazine

Chris Van Allsburg
(children's illustrator)

I first noticed Chris Van Allsburgs works in NYC at a children's book store.
I use to spend hours pondering poetry, anthropology and children's stories at a variety of shops around NYC. The Strand was one of my favorites back in the day.
Once I discovered his stories I couldn't stay away from my curiosity about the artist.
I asked one of my editors; Frannie Ruch at Elle Magazine if we could do a story on Chris and she said yes and I got to meet him and work with him for the first time.
We did some normal shots and than we went to the park and shot infra red film with him and an old airplane model. I should dig those up.

I think he's afraid of flying as I recall.
Later the NY Times asked me to do a session with him and Kathy Ryan assigned his portrait with me. The Polar Express had just launched so I had Chris come to my studio and we did the shot above.
Later Chris asked me to intern a friends kid at my place and I did for an exchange of a print.
I still have not received it but I am hopeful that one day I will get an image that is not a laser print. Follow through is really important to me.
Here are a few images by Chris from his Harris Burdick book.
This is by far my favorite book of his for I feel his light and that he knows it better than most photographers.
For this I find his charcols inspiring.
His mystery and concepts leaving you open to tell the story yourself makes for a wonderful book.
If I were an teacher I'd have my students write stories to this pictures.
check it out in the link below provided.
The drawing below is just one of which I have always felt a familiar feeling.
This could be me dreaming.
I love this image from the Harris Burdick book.



He had warned her about the book.

Now it was too late.



The fifth one ended up in France.



He threw with all his might, but the

third stone came skipping back.

Figurative Image Making

art by Egon Schiele

Egon Schiele

One of my favorite artist of the 20th century.
Studying art and gestures from the greats can help you be more aware of human nature in portraiture. It's the subtle nuances that can make a difference to attract or repel the viewer.
I like being pulled in to an image especially when its provocative and alluring erotically.
Egon Schiele was immediate with is observations.
Check out his work on the Wiki link posted below.

New Mexico Photographer

photography by Dirk Anschutz

FARMGIRL Productions, Inc.
karen kuehn Photography
6 frontier ct.
peralta,nm 87042

Tel. 1.505.401.5987 c

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Go To Sleep Little Baby

photo by Sara Strathas -

Today I lost one of my best friends.
Miss Mary Jane
Thank you for a year of light when my heart was dark
You were the truth where humans lie
The best 100 dollar bill ever spent
A swap meeting and greeting as I brought you home.
Against all odds Emmett snatched you up and said "MINE."
You melted the biggest men's hearts.
You wagged your way into every one's arms.
"give me that dog"
( a repeated phrase by all who met you)
I am so upset as you are now under ground nested next to Collette and Tank
I am going to plant a tree for three near those hearts that most loved me.
I am sorry I went away this weekend to return to a home like a funeral parlour
We weren' t done playing dammit.
How can this be....we had so much fun you and me.
I'm so sadden by your "fate"
Latin word for weird and it has taken down this tribe of yours.
My Mary Jane was the most well adjusted happy being.
We should all be so lucky.
Her footsteps, like an infant pattering round the house
Early hours she'd run from one, two three of us.
Wake up and play
Play with me all day long she said in her own way.
Always insisting on ravenously kissing your face till you surrender to her grace.
No day could be totally bad with her by your side.
She'd follow you sleep at the end of my bed at the end of the day.
Just waiting for me to lay my head to get under our covers and cuddle
Life in this home is so much more quiet now.
I miss you Mary Jane
Thank you for your time with us for we were blessed.
Go To Sleep Little Baby
I'll see you in heaven, I feel you and I'm so sad without you.
I will bring you your tether ball when I come to visit.
I miss my best friend.

Message To Animal Owners from Me Who Dares to Care.
Are you aware of your animal's health and well being!
Do you clean them, feed them, shelter them from snow and sun and the weather elements.
Do dental and care for there aches and pains.
We care and if anyone reads this please look into the eyes of your pet and ask
How do they feel? When was your pets last check up...every year is normal.
Just because they grow old doesn't mean you are not accountable for their health.
They get old just like you...arthritis, cancer and all sorts of issues....
Dare to care MORE.
Cash isn't an issue if you love someone or something...selfish people don't like to spend money.
I spend all of mine on my family, friends and animals and my life is far richer than those of boring routine and controlled futures.

You all loose
karmic ally if you don't love your animals as they are your family.

Don't Be a Looser.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


A Big Part of My Life ...
is about not only how other's treat us but how we treat those we come to meet.
A minute or decades. Its how we touch an other's life.
We are all connected and accountable even thou I can say I've met many who have not a clue about others feelings other than how it serves them first.
This are not conscious beings. These sorts of people have an opportunity to grow from serving others but the norm is to be a be self involved rather than examining how they can be a better human. We can t control those sorts of people but we can inspire and/or edit them out of our lives as they usually just suck the life out of those nurturing souls.

When I go to a photography shoot I often bring gifts and something of a positive gesture for the subjects as a leave behind to share a part of me with them for the experience.
I prefer to have a sit and sip coffee or tea prior to a shoot.
To get to know the subject and to listen to them speak of what makes them feel good and how they want to be portrayed.
They are hardly a prop for my ideas but rather a person with a heart and often very shy and not attune to the workings of a photographer and a camera clicking off images of them as subject.
Start with a nibble of food, bring it to the shoot or some tea ...something cozy.
Be the photographer they remember for caring about their session with you.
It will buy you more time and often a new friendship begins with such thoughtful gestures.

Flavorful, friendly and memorable.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Editors ADORED

Editor of these three projects AMBER SEXTON


I love magazine editors and Amber Sexton is one of my favorites.
She worked with Golf Magazine for a good long time and gave me several fun assignments.
Here's a few and it always helps to have a great designer do a layout that is image driven.

My list of editors is huge and I've worked for almost 30 years in and out of the magazine business. I love working for magazines. You get an assignment and go co create with your subject. I feel blessed to have had such a long fruitful career working for the best ranking publications in the industry. If I listed all of them it would be insane.
Maybe I will copy them off of a resume and do so later on but trust me when I say it has been an awesome ride being a photographer, journalist, conceptual image maker.

A Big Thanks to all the Magazine Editors I've had the privilege of working for and with over the years. The stories and journey has been unforgettable.


Sunday, April 3, 2011

Friends SHOW UP.

David and the boys...move all my plumbing inside the darkroom and out of the thin walls after having the pipes freeze twice this winter.
Now all copper pipe and should be ready to roll back into my creative space.

Dave Burke; the Boss, Nicholas Herrera, Santario Artist, David Micheal Kennedy

Friends show up!

My pals drove hours south to come fix my darkroom.
Its been a cold winter.
The best way to fix things is to have one of your dear friends take charge and say I'm gonna get the guys to come down and we will make your darkroom better for you!
It was totally unexpected.
I have a huge project from BM to complete.
It's nice to have really solid men in my life.
Truthful, honorable and one's that follow through and do what they say!
I think it's a rare quality and to have people show up for you with no self involved motivation can make a real difference in one's heart.
Binds your friendships with integrity.
Now I can finally motivate to get my project from last summers BM completed.

"METROPOLOVE" book is just a reflection of a lot of LOVE and lovin that happened 24x7 on the playa...this is long overdue to complete its being and the name of this project may just change to

Thanks Guys.
You rocked my darkroom and my life all the time.
Now I have no excuses for completing this body of work.
Making a difference in my humble world

David M Kennedy, Nicholas Herrera and Dave Burke
Love you Guys.