Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Walls Within

“Your task is not to seek love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”

Monday, February 27, 2012


I V A  M O R R I S
The Three Graces by Iva Morris

Blue Angel 

 I have been acquainted with Iva and her family for over ten years now.
We usually see each other at pot lucks and artist gatherings.
Iva has a rather large range going from landscape to human forms.
What I love about her works is this off quirky concepting from her life at home.
She's living a live as an artist and whatever crosses her path may very well become subject.
Raising two kids and maintaining an artful soul is sometimes just life in the fast lane.
Some how she manages and has achieved many exhibits and museums collections.
She paints life size imagery and surrounds herself with texture and warmth.
I have many memories of her on occasions but one that I remember most,
 Iva hopping over my 6ft horse fence in a mini dress lickty split.
"Dang girl why don't you use the front gate?"
Hopping over like like Tonto and the Lone Ranger!
Weren't you 50 going on 20 that day?
Iva is all REAL and her works are so reflective of her essence.
I feel honored to have sat for her a few times.
And hey I even have a pastel from the Tao's Pueblo 

Check her out and she takes commissions too.
I 'd book a session if you ever want something really special.

Ladies and Gentlemen Miss Iva Morris


photo by karen kuehn 
The Artist of New Mexico Series
Book can be purchased on the link below.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

The Path


 photo by karen kuehn  for the Sunday NY Times Magazine
Surfing for Life
Dead Sea Rapsody

Who needs a quiver when your stuck on one?
I do.
Helter skelter to surf the long run.

So dark and thick of dread.
You reach round and through -
When you have to stay with you.

You are the realization.
The reflection past to present.
Stop looking for light in the shadow.

Paddle and bequeath your soul not.
An ocean full of emotion.

Waves breaking as heart's.
Stand up for the freedom ride of your life.
Ebb to flow its an bowl full.

Hard to see in a dark sea.
People always seem to stir like a delusional tea.
Clarity; the gift of time offshore dreams and glow.

Contraction crashing.
Expanding building.
This is a Warriors Path.

Now that surfboard is calling my name.
Warmer waters always sooth my brain.
Dreams of paddling ….paddling was just a dream with you.

May the water push you into real swell.
For real time riding what is blue.
True blue, truly unforgettable blues.

Storm is Over.
Ocean and beaches brighter.
Awaiting your wander.


Dedicated to Rell Sunn; Wahine Warrior Spirit, you are always a reminder of how we as women and men can move through the world present with non attachment.  To not suffer from dreams lost for riding the waves can restore faith and love in our souls. Giving heart to all will never be squandered but the treasure of what we can be when were being out best.
Expect nothing as every-time it will only disappoint.  To give ego-lessly is always goal.
Counting my blessings in the sand and its many.
Next ride is for you Rell.


Thursday, February 23, 2012

Artist Benar Venet

photo by karen kuehn
 Benar Venet for Elle Magazine

Chelsea before it was hip and cool....lugging my gear up several flights of stairs....I remember seeing a buzzer for  Roy Lichtenstein, amongst other's....I lived in Tribeca ( The triangle below canal) I think if my memory doesn't fail me Benar's loft was on the west side of Manhattan, Houston.
As I entered his loft, filled with drawings soon to be sculptures no doubt I recall such a sweetness about Benar.
Kind and quiet we chatted ever so slightly as I looked for spaces to make image of him.
I loved the charcoal feel of some of these images....in hindsight its so phallic right?
I remember feeling very fall.
Benar a bit shy and me at that point in my life even more so!
My life in NYC was so in and out of everyone's life.
Vignettes of people's, places and stories in essay form.
The virtues, the venues, the art, the creatives and those oh so buttoned up!
Benar, open and easy, we made several images and I went along my way.
I lived to photograph everyone.
Everyone made my life live.
Now even more so I cherish all those I meet for the gift is mine to make great experiences out of all sessions.
Frannie Ruch my beloved editor of Elle I will always love.
The art that Benar makes made me think beyond....lines that were so beautiful and space vacant for the mind to continue.
One arch reaching upward with large space between a second arch would complete what the mind made circle.
Look at his work and enjoy.


Photographer South West

photo of Yvette Lopez Montezuma NM

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

Tel. 1.505.401.5987 c

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


photograph by Alpha Pussy

My sweet pal Nicole posted this image today..it makes sense to me.
Thank  you for the reminder.

Ray Charles 


Irony Is My Shadow, 2006, Oil on canvas, 19 3/4” x 23 5/8”

(some thoughts gathered from a Jung site)  
Unfortunately there can be no doubt that man is, on the whole, less good than he imagines himself or wants to be. Everyone carries a shadow, and the less it is embodied in the individual's conscious life, the blacker and denser it is. If an inferiority is conscious, one always has a chance to correct it. Furthermore, it is constantly in contact with other interests, so that it is continually subjected to modifications. But if it is repressed and isolated from consciousness, it never gets corrected.

"Psychology and Religion" (1938). In CW 11: Psychology and Religion: West and East. P.131

It is a frightening thought that man also has a shadow side to him, consisting not just of little weaknesses- and foibles, but of a positively demonic dynamism. The individual seldom knows anything of this; to him, as an individual, it is incredible that he should ever in any circumstances go beyond himself. But let these harmless creatures form a mass, and there emerges a raging monster; and each individual is only one tiny cell in the monster's body, so that for better or worse he must accompany it on its bloody rampages and even assist it to the utmost. Having a dark suspicion of these grim possibilities, man turns a blind eye to the shadow-side of human nature. Blindly he strives against the salutary dogma of original sin, which is yet so prodigiously true. Yes, he even hesitates to admit the conflict of which he is so painfully aware.
"On the Psychology of the Unconscious" (1912). In CW 7: Two Essays on Analytical Psychology. P.35

We know that the wildest and most moving dramas are played not in the theatre but in the hearts of ordinary men and women who pass by without exciting attention, and who betray to the world nothing of the conflicts that rage within them except possibly by a nervous breakdown. What is so difficult for the layman to grasp is the fact that in most cases the patients themselves have no suspicion whatever of the internecine war raging in their unconscious. If we remember that there are many people who understand nothing at all about themselves, we shall be less surprised at the realization that there are also people who are utterly unaware of their actual conflicts.

"New Paths in Psychology" (1912). In CW 7: Two Essays on Analytical Psychology. P.425

If you imagine someone who is brave enough to withdraw all his projections, then you get an individual who is conscious of a pretty thick shadow. Such a man has saddled himself with new problems and conflicts. He has become a serious problem to himself, as he is now unable to say that they do this or that, they are wrong, and they must be fought against. He lives in the "House of the Gathering." Such a man knows that whatever is wrong in the world is in himself, and if he only learns to deal with his own shadow he has done something real for the world. He has succeeded in shouldering at least an infinitesimal part of the gigantic, unsolved social problems of our day.

"Psychology and Religion" (1938). In CW 11: Psychology and Religion: West and East. P.140

There is a deep gulf between what a man is and what he represents, between what he is as an individual and what he is as a collective being. His function is developed at the expense of the individuality. Should he excel, he is merely identical with his collective function; but should he not, then, though he may be highly esteemed as a function in society, his individuality is wholly on the level of his inferior, undeveloped functions, and he is simply a barbarian, while in the former case he has happily deceived himself as to his actual barbarism.

Psychological Types (1921). CW 6: P.III

Taking it in its deepest sense, the shadow is the invisible saurian tail that man still drags behind him. Carefully amputated, it becomes the healing serpent of the mysteries. Only monkeys parade with it.

The Integration of the Personality. (1939).

How else could it have occurred to man to divide the cosmos, on the analogy of day and night, summer and winter, into a bright day-world and a dark night-world peopled with fabulous monsters, unless he had the prototype of such a division in himself, in the polarity between the conscious and the invisible and unknowable unconscious? Primitive man's perception of objects is conditioned only partly by the objective behaviour of the things themselves, whereas a much greater part is often played by intrapsychic facts which are not related to the external objects except by way of projection. This is due to the simple fact that the primitive has not yet experienced that ascetic discipline of mind known to us as the critique of knowledge. To him the world is a more or less fluid phenomenon within the stream of his own fantasy, where subject and object are undifferentiated and in a state of mutual interpenetration.

"Psychological Aspects of the Mother Archetype" (1939) In CW 9, Part 1: The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious. P. 187

We carry our past with us, to wit, the primitive and inferior man with his desires and emotions, and it is only with an enormous effort that we can detach ourselves from this burden. If it comes to a neurosis, we invariably have to deal with a considerably intensified shadow. And if such a person wants to be cured it is necessary to find a way in which his conscious personality and his shadow can live together.

"Answer to Job" (1952). In CW 11: Psychology and Religion: West and East. P.12

The world is as it ever has been, but our consciousness undergoes peculiar changes. First, in remote times (which can still be observed among primitives living today), the main body of psychic life was apparently in human and in nonhuman Objects: it was projected, as we should say now. Consciousness can hardly exist in a state of complete projection. At most it would be a heap of emotions. Through the withdrawal of projections, conscious knowledge slowly developed. Science, curiously enough, began with the discovery of astronomical laws, and hence with the withdrawal, so to speak, of the most distant projections. This was the first stage in the despiritualization of the world. One step followed another: already in antiquity the gods were withdrawn from mountains and rivers, from trees and animals. Modern science has subtilized its projections to an almost unrecognizable degree, but our ordinary life still swarms with them. You can find them spread out in the newspapers, in books, rumours, and ordinary social gossip. All gaps in our actual knowledge are still filled out with projections. We are still so sure we know what other people think or what their true character is.

"Psychology and Religion" (1938) In CW II: Psychology and Religion: West and East. P. 140

When we must deal with problems, we instinctively resist trying the way that leads through obscurity and darkness. We wish to hear only of unequivocal results, and completely forget that these results can only be brought about when we have ventured into and emerged again from the darkness. But to penetrate the darkness we must summon all the powers of enlightenment that consciousness can offer.

"The Stages of Life" (1930). In CW 8: The Structure and Dynamics of the Psyche. P.752

Everything that man should, and yet cannot, be or do- be it in a positive or negative sense - lives on as a mythological figure and anticipation alongside his consciousness, either as a religious projection or-what is still more dangerous-as unconscious contents which then project themselves spontaneously into incongruous objects, e.g., hygienic and other "salvationist" doctrines or practices. All these are so many rationalized substitutes for mythology, and their unnaturalness does more harm than good.

"The Psychology of the Child Archetype" (1940). In CW 9, Part I: The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious. P.287

The hero's main feat is to overcome the monster of darkness: it is the long-hoped-for and expected triumph of consciousness over the unconscious. The coming of consciousness was probably the most tremendous experience of primeval times, for with it a world came into being whose existence no one had suspected before. "And God said, 'Let there be light"' is the projection of that immemorial experience of the separation of consciousness from the unconscious.

"The Psychology of the Child Archetype" (1940). In CW 9, Part I: The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious. P.284

The symbol is a living body, corpus et anima; hence the "child" is such an apt formula for the symbol. The uniqueness of the psyche can never enter wholly into reality, it can only be realized approximately, though it still remains the absolute basis of all consciousness. The deeper "layers" of the psyche lose their individual uniqueness as they retreat farther and farther into darkness. "Lower down," that is to say as they approach the autonomous functional systems, they become increasingly collective until they are universalized and extinguished in the body's materiality, i.e., in chemical substances. The body's carbon is simply carbon. Hence "at bottom" the psyche is simply "world." In this sense I hold Kerenyi to be absolutely right when he says that in the symbol the world itself is speaking. The more archaic and "deeper," that is the more physiological, the symbol is, the more collective and universal, the more "material" it is. The more abstract, differentiated, and sp eci 'fie it is, and the more its nature approximates to conscious uniqueness and individuality, the more it sloughs off its universal character. Having finally attained full consciousness, it runs the risk of becoming a mere allegory which nowhere oversteps the bounds of conscious comprehension, and is then exposed to all sorts of attempts at rationalistic and therefore inadequate explanation.

"The Psychology of the Child Archetype" (1940). In CW 9, Part I: The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious. P.291

The masculinity of the woman and the femininity of the man are inferior, and it is regrettable that the full value of their personalities should be contaminated by something that is less valuable. On the other hand, the shadow belongs to the wholeness of the personality: the strong man must somewhere be weak, somewhere the clever man must be stupid, otherwise he is too good to be true and falls back on pose and bluff. Is it not an old truth that woman loves the weaknesses of the strong man more than his strength, and the stupidity of the clever man more than his cleverness ?

Die Anima als Schicksalsproblem des Mannes (1963) Foreward by C.G. Jung. In CW 18 261

To remain a child too long is childish, but it is just as childish to move away and then assume that childhood no longer exists because we do not see it. But if we return to the "children's land" we succumb to the fear of becoming childish, because we do not understand that everything of psychic origin has a double face. One face looks forward, the other back. It is ambivalent and therefore symbolic, like all living reality.

Psychology and Alchemy (1944). CW 12. P.74

No, the demons are not banished; that is a difficult task that still lies ahead. Now that the angel of history has abandoned the Germans,* the demons will seek a new victim. And that won't be difficult. Every man who loses his shadow, every nation that falls into self-righteousness, is their prey.... We should not forget that exactly the same fatal tendency to collectivization is present in the victorious nations as in the Germans, that they can just as suddenly become a victim of the demonic powers.

"The Postwar Psychic Problems of the Germans" (1945)
*Written I945.

Just as we tend to assume that the world is as we see it, we naively suppose that people are as we imagine them to be. In this latter case, unfortunately, there is no scientific test that would prove the discrepancy between perception and reality. Although the possibility of gross deception is infinitely greater here than in our perception of the physical world, we still go on naively projecting our own psychology into our fellow human beings. In this way everyone creates for himself a series of more or less imaginary relationships based essentially on projection.

"General Aspects of Dream Psychology" (1916). In CW 8: The Structure and Dynamics of the Psyche. P.507

The change of character brought about by the uprush of collective forces is amazing. A gentle and reasonable being can be transformed into a maniac or a savage beast. One is always inclined to lay the blame on external circumstances, but nothing could explode in us if it had not been there. As a matter of fact, we are constantly living on the edge of a volcano, and there is, so far as we know, no way of protecting ourselves from a possible outburst that will destroy everybody within reach. It is certainly a good thing to preach reason and common sense, but what if you have a lunatic asylum for an audience or a crowd in a collective frenzy? There is not much difference between them because the madman and the mob are both moved by impersonal, overwhelming forces.

"Psychology and Religion" (1938). In CW 11: Psychology and Religion: West and East. P.25

It is the face of our own shadow that glowers at us across the Iron Curtain.

Man and His Symbols. In CW 18: P.85

Whenever contents of the collective unconscious become activated, they have a disturbing effect on the conscious mind, and contusion ensues. If the activation is due to the collapse of the individual's hopes and expectations, there is a danger that the collective unconscious may take the place of reality. This state would be pathological. If, on the other hand, the activation is the result of psychological processes in the unconscious of the people, the individual may feel threatened or at any rate disoriented, but the resultant state is not pathological, at least so far as the individual is concerned. Nevertheless, the mental state of the people as a whole might well be compared to a psychosis.

"The Psychological Foundation for the Belief in Spirits (1920). In CW 8: The Structure and Dynamics of the Psyche. P.595

The individual ego could be conceived as the commander of a small army in the struggle with his environments war not infrequently on two fronts, before him the struggle for existence, in the rear the struggle against his own rebellious instinctual nature. Even to those of us who are not pessimists our existence feels more like a struggle than anything else. The state of peace is a desideratum, and when a man has found peace with himself and the world it is indeed a noteworthy event.

"Analytical Psychology and Weltanschauung" (1928) In CW 8: The Structure and Dynamics of the Psyche. P.693

If a man is endowed with an ethical sense and is convinced of the sanctity of ethical values, he is on the surest road to a conflict of duty. And although this looks desperately like a moral catastrophe, it alone makes possible a higher differentiation of ethics and a broadening of consciousness. A conflict of duty forces us to examine our conscience and thereby to discover the shadow.

Depth Psychology and a New Ethic. (1949). In CW 18. P.17

The shadow is a moral problem that challenges the whole ego-personality, for no one can become conscious of the shadow without considerable moral effort. To become conscious of it involves recognizing the dark aspects of the personality as present and real. This act is the essential condition for any kind of self-knowledge.

Aion (1951). CW 9, Part II: P.1

To confront a person with his shadow is to show him his own light. Once one has experienced a few times what it is like to stand judgingly between the opposites, one begins to understand what is meant by the self. Anyone who perceives his shadow and his light simultaneously sees himself from two sides and thus gets in the middle.

"Good and Evil in Analytical Psychology" (1959). In CW 10. Civilization in Transition. P.872

Filling the conscious mind with ideal conceptions is a characteristic of Western theosophy, but not the confrontation with the shadow and the world of darkness. One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.

"The Philosophical Tree" (1945). In CW 13: Alchemical Studies. P.335

A man who is unconscious of himself acts in a blind, instinctive way and is in addition fooled by all the illusions that arise when he sees everything that he is not conscious of in himself coming to meet him from outside as projections upon his neighbour.

"The Philosophical Tree" (1945). In CW 13: Alchemical Studies. P.335

Projections change the world into the replica of one's own unknown face. 
Aion (1955). CW 14: P.17
The "other" may be just as one-sided in one way as the ego is in another. And yet the conflict between them may give rise to truth and meaning-but only if the ego is willing to grant the other its rightful personality.

"Concerning Rebirth" (1940) In CW 9, Part I: The Archetypes of the Collective Unconscious. P.237

Good does not become better by being exaggerated, but worse, and a small evil becomes a big one through being disregarded and repressed. The shadow is very much a part of human nature, and it is only at night that no shadows exist.

"A Psychological Approach to the Dogma of the Trinity" (1942) In CW 11: Psychology and Religion: West and East. P.286

We know that the wildest and most moving dramas are played not in the theatre but in the hearts of ordinary men and women who pass by without exciting attention, and who betray to the world nothing of the conflicts that rage within them except possibly by a nervous breakdown. What is so difficult for the layman to grasp is the fact that in most cases the patients themselves have no suspicion whatever of the internecine war raging in their unconscious. If we remember that there are many people who understand nothing at all about themselves, we shall be less surprised at the realization that there are also people who are utterly unaware of their actual conflicts.

"New Paths in Psychology" (1912). In CW 7: Two Essays on Analytical Psychology. P.425

In reality, the acceptance of the shadow-side of human nature verges on the impossible. Consider for a moment what it means to grant the right of existence to what is unreasonable, senseless, and evil! Yet it is just this that the modern man insists upon. He wants to live with every side of himself-to know what he is. That is why he casts history aside. He wants to break with tradition so that he can experiment with his life and determine what value and meaning things have in themselves, apart from traditional resuppositions.

"Psychotherapist or the Clergy" (1932). In CW 11: Psychology and Religion: West and East. P.528

The Shadow Exercise

"Think of someone you know whom you don't like very much. Maybe you even hate this person. On a piece of paper, write down a description of that person. Write down what it is about this individual's personality that you don't like. Be as specific as you can." When everyone in the class is finished writing, I tell them to draw a box around what they have written - and at the top of the box write "MY SHADOW."
"Consider this," I tell them. "What you have written down is some hidden part of yourself - some part that you have suppressed or hidden. It is what Jung would call your SHADOW. Maybe it's a part of you that you fear, can't accept, or hate for some reason. Maybe it's a part of you that needs to be expressed or developed in some way. Maybe you even secretly wish you could be something like that person whom you hate."
Invariably, the students' reactions to this idea are mixed. Some immediately see the connection; some immediately reject the idea. When I ask the class how many of them have friends or romantic partners who fit the description of the "hated" person, many are surprised to see that this is indeed the case. The exercise always leads to interesting discussions about how we project suppressed parts of ourselves onto others, and about why we sometimes choose these "hated" people for our close relationships.
Painting by Mark Kostabi

Plenty of articles on the shadow side of self on line.
I think its a great topic for making art.
Mark Kostabi s work is reflective of such exploration.
 In my blog here one of my fellow Burning Man friends is featured for such thoughts pondered.

Janus Osiris RedMoon
story on Shadow Dance

Art Habits to LOOSE

It is 2012, but in the art world it is often still 1966. Some of the "traditions" underlying the business side of the gallery and museum world date back decades. Don't let 'em fool you that they are hip. The art world is a bunch of stubborn ninnies who learn to do things one way and insist that things never be done a different way. Everyone has great career advice for you that is current for 1979, or 1985 or 1994, whatever year they broke into the art world -- that is the master plan they insist everyone must follow; they assert you will not succeed unless you, too, do things like they did back then. Understand two things: The art world doesn't replace its dinosaurs, it gives them retrospectives, and two, the first caveman who left the cave was the first performance artist and nobody has topped him since. Here are 12 things about the art world that need to disappear for good.
Painter Mark Kostabi's slogan sums it up "Ending Lending is Beginning Winning". Artists have traditionally consigned artwork to galleries. When the artwork sells, the gallery and the artist splits the sale 50/50. When the work does not sell, the artist gets the art back. This is the way the game is played and it is ludicrous. In this scenario, the artist literally loans the gallery collateral at no risk to the gallery and with no interest on the loan. An alternate way of doing things might be to imitate, oh I dunno, how about... the way every other business on earth operates: The gallery should just buy the art from the artist. How hard is that? If the gallery cannot afford it, either they should find an artist who will sell them work for what they can afford or they should get out of the gallery business, which they are not in if they cannot afford to purchase inventory. Of course, this works in the benefit of the gallery too -- you can mark up the work 200 percent if you like. Buy 10 paintings for $100 each. Sell them for 20 grand each.

Academic Curators
The realm of the visual is inherently non-verbal. Academia is a lecture-based system of auditory and linguistic learning. Pretty much the polar opposite of art. And yet here come the pinheads with their Ph.D. theses (rhymes with feces) getting every damn thing wrong about the art and making sure none of their presentation is enjoyable nor accessible to people outside their peer group. Their ruse is the implication that art is intellectual. Art is sensual. Academics are not. Sleep with a few (your grad school professor is almost always willing) and tell me I am wrong.

Who gets paid first in the art world these days? Promotional idiots with tired gimmicks and antiquated postcard mailing lists. The marketers are taking the cream off the top of the art world latte. Marketers are people who know nothing abut the creative process and feel happier watching an episode of Friends than they do looking at new and exciting work or having an interesting gallery space experience. Art is the antidote to culture, not another client of the machine.

Paid Writers
Think about it. A painter struggles in his or her studio with a stack of canvasses, tubes of oil paints and nothing but time. It is a romantic vision we can all accept. It is also pretty much the only way that great painting takes place. But ask an art writer to write about your art and they want $3 a word. Where is the romance and pursuit of pure artistic vision for the writer? Suddenly the slob at your opening is quoting prices like your 401K advisor. Writers have become sharks because, like the academics, people who are good with words either manipulate you with them or exclude you from the discussion. Verbosity is often used as a weapon to seize power in the arts, populated as they are by visual learners and masters of non-verbal expression. Beware of the writer whose desk has blank invoices in the drawer.

Charity Auctions
I ranted about this on the Huffington Post last year. Bottom line is the price your art goes for at a charity event is the golden "what the market will bear" amount. Do you want the world to know that in a roomful of millionaires eager to support a good cause your donated painting could not get a minimum bid of $50? And of course, if your piece did not sell, don't expect the non-art non-profit hacks to know how to handle and return it to you.

I can make a lousy painting today of George Bush performing a sexual act with Barack Obama. Nobody is going to like it or buy it but nobody is going to knock on my door tonight and take me away for painting it. Call me when you have two billionaire army general art collectors bid up the price on your painting of Hu Jintao having a threesome with Confucius and Mao Tse Tung. Until then, you can let a thousand sub-par Thomas Kinkades bloom -- it is the only way to stay out of jail.

Diploma Mills
Tens of thousands of dollars of student loan debt used to at least get you a diploma that led to a decent job. Those jobs are gone now. Long gone. They are not coming back. No matter how prestigious the school and how fantastic the program, MFA art programs are just a summer camp experience with pretense and attitude. The art they produce is not demonstrably better than art produced outside of academic dialogues. Many people enjoy MFA programs. Cut-throat capitalist bankers at student loan portfolio departments love them more than any student or faculty member would ever realize, until it is too late...

There are too many of them. You do whatever you want. You can even be so great that you actually achieve a complete and total failure. Then you can make art. But you never have to follow any of the rules and anyone who says you do... well he or she just hasn't failed enough to realize this.

Art is subjective. There inherently cannot be experts.

Artists are told to work in series. It is one way of doing things. To posit that it is the only way or the best way is as dumb as saying every painting should be 40 percent earth tones. Huh? Yeah, that dumb.

Reading Graffiti Art
Street art is the best abstract painting of the past 60 years. Rationalizing one wall as somehow better because of individual authorship (instead of innovative composition) misses the whole point. Let's not take the people's medium against the power of property and make it into another celebrity manufacturing game. Enjoy abstract vandalism at its most beautiful without obsessing over who authored the specific letters on the wall. And what is closer to the bottom of the barrel: Street art gallerists, street art curators or street art academics? On what sad date did aerosol spray paint become synonymous with cotton candy?

Artists As Their Own Manager
You gotta do this, and you gotta do that, and most of all you have to buy the art advice book on how you can make it on your own as an artist by doing all of this stuff on your own. Advice is now an industry. Just make the art and sell it for whatever it takes to get it out of the studio and make more. Don't buy the book. It is probably rehashed if not flat-out plagiarized from the other books. There is no blueprint for a masterpiece and there is no blueprint for a successful art career. Like Gandhi said, "What you do will not be important but it is important that you do it." he didn't add "...so buy the overpriced book and DVD series on how to succeed at doing that unimportant important thing."

Happy New Year to all the artists and art appreciators. Let's hope 2012 is a masterpiece in which all can exalt the fruit of the creative process and ignore the pretense and hype.
Follow Mat Gleason on Twitter: www.twitter.com/CoagulaMagazine

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

What Do You See ?

photo of a Gnome by karen kuehn

A few weeks back while on assignment for New Mexico Magazine I spied with my little eye this scene.  
It reminded me of one of my favorite children's books.
The Little Prince.
A story of a very creative child Spirit.
The boys imagination is a bit over the top for most....where a normal person would see a hat, he saw an animal under the hat!
I have always related to this kind of thinking to a fault.
Fantasy verses reality can make wonderful art but its not good for normal day living.
Radical imagination has its pluses and minuses.
It is with this picture that I hope to share with you all a moment of thinking out of the box, 
around the box and in the box.  I didn't go looking for it as it just was a moment that made me smile.
It took me away from my life for a moment in time.
Logical is fine but if you want to expand your thinking you can go a step further.
Taking time to be creative and to nurture that half of your brain is for me like being an athlete.
For those who are more conservative in thought that want to expand your mind I will post a few books here that may help you be more unique in your thinking.

Are you MORE Right Brain or Left Brain?

Right Brain or Left Brain Dominant?
 You Tube Quiz is INTERESTING and Quick
Art Institute Test

Drawing From the Right Side of Your Brain
by Betty Edwards.

The Little Prince
Antoine De Saint-Exupery

Saturday, February 18, 2012


Props can make or break a shot.  I am always looking to make images that tell a story.
Tomorrow I have a job with a TIME Life magazine.  I can t disclose the story or the magazine name right now but I can say that my life illustrating stories is never dull!
I am not a one shot pony...I like to deliver several ideas to my editors so I usually hire a stylist to gather a wish list of items on larger jobs.
I found these on line two days ago and had two wind socks shipped from Florida for tomorrows shoot.  Social media has sure made it easier to find those odd things for making my job a little more easy.  I have seen these in black at Burning Man and they are pretty spectacular in flight!   15ft long and very light so hopefully the wind will be with us on our shoot day.  If not we will fly them on some abandoned desert road with the subjects in the back of the truck in motion to tell the story.
I will post a pic if they don't make the cutting room floor after the magazine runs the story.
You just never know what's next in the business of editorial photography.
I love my job, you could say its fertile!
photograph by karen kuehn 
these are part of story being told for a Time Life Magazine.
I can disclose it now but these are windsocks that attach to a kite...really a fun and the comments
 by the subjects were comic and good for elevating a serious subject matter on 
health and wellness as well and laws in the making!
 photo by Eric Swanson 2/19/12
Kelly Miller, Karen Kuehn and our subjects.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Celebrity Photography karen kuehn


Muhammad Ali Quotes

"A man who views the world the same at fifty as he did at twenty has wasted thirty years of his life." 
"A rooster crows only when it sees the light. Put him in the dark and he'll never crow. 
I have seen the light and I'm crowing. "

"Age is whatever you think it is. You are as old as you think you are."

"At home I am a nice guy: but I don't want the world to know." 

"Humble people, I've found, don't get very far."

"Boxing is a lot of white men watching two black men beat each other up.

"Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.

"Frazier is so ugly that he should donate his face to the US Bureau of Wild Life."

"Friendship... is not something you learn in school. 

But if you haven't learned the meaning of friendship,you really haven't learned anything."

"Hating people because of their color is wrong. 

And it doesn't matter which color does the hating. It's just plain wrong."

"He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life."

Real Men Don't Buy Girls

1-An estimated one million children are forced to work in the global sex industry every year
2-The global sex slavery market generates a $39 billion profit annually
3-Selling young girls is more profitable than trafficking drugs or weapons

The DNA Foundation launched a campaign targeting men with the message that Real Men Don't Buy Girls. The goal of the campaign was to create a cultural shift around the implicit societal acceptance of child prostitution, and thus, child sex slavery. We hoped to reach millions of people with information about the issue. More than 2 million people have participated in the campaign so far. Here are some of the people who took a stand with us! To join us, go to
Take Action Here: 

Thursday, February 16, 2012


It's Show Business Folks!
 I have worked around celebrities for my entire career.
Not every celeb is a narcissist.
We can all have degrees of need for attention and love.
How we present it or deal with it can be subtle or unsightly.
I think I've had to learn a lot about people through my job as a photographer.
Decades of discovery and witnessing all types.
I read furiously all topics and today I pondered upon this trait as I am seeking questions that are unanswered in my life.
It's natural to desire acceptance and unconditional loved.
Animals are the purest form of this as humans have agendas and needs that often cause conflict.
Some of us go way out on a limb to be validated, often with disconcerting behaviors!
Posturing for attention is possibly dog eared of some form of neglect from our childhood. 
If real love is lacking growing up the results are often Narcissistic adults that are seeking attention, be it through fame, bad behaviors or just plain old self involvement lacking in empathy for others! These people rarely come to terms with owning this trait; however if acknowledged and with the help of a professional people can wake up.
I have entertained rather large groups with slide presentations of my work over the last 30 years.
I have had psychologist's in the audiences tell me that I know people based on my work!
I have been asked if I have studied this subject?  I have, however my degrees are in Art / Photography and police sciences.
 I am in intuitive and most of my life is from the gut and by the seat of my pants.
Feelings really steer my ship.  Does it feel good or bad?
Do we work through rough waters or bail ship?  
Sometimes its just a bad ride with some situations, especially if its one sided.
This is where narcissism is like a shiny penny glaring at you.
Sometime we can t help but bend over and pick it up!

A book recommended to me to shed light on the character trait of narcissism is:
The Narcissism Epidemic :Living in the Age of Entitlement 
   byJean Tuenge
(Recommended by my Chef Mark Miller)
Everyone has something to work out...that is part of our individual journey s right?
We live in denial or we cry for help?  The perfect happy person we want to project is just not so 24/7.
We aim for joy....oh that JOY we so want daily till the title wave hits or something pulls the rug out from under out lives.
In my own lessons, I've experienced some brutal awakenings.
The nature of humans is I feel basically good! 
People are GOOD.
A few bad seeds out there, but most pretty darn nice.
We make choices and sometimes those are costly.
  Working with high profile people I've had to learn to listen a lot and just accommodate each situation to make the best story possible.
Narcissism is tough to see with rose color glasses.  
My nature is to see the good in everyone.
I still do but sometimes a situation can harden the heart!
Are your actions empathetic to others or are you really just all about your needs?
Are you content and joyful?
How is your life working for you anyways?
You can never be so right, when your life feels so wrong.
Be gentle with yourself and evolve....evolve ...evolve.
Narcissistic people are usually very charismatic, whats not to love.
I have several friends that are pretty showy and hell I've had my day too under the sun too!
You can be mad as hell at someone and still love them but don't expect a narcissistic person to give a rats ass about your feelings!
They are so stuck in their world that you really don't exist unless you serve their needs.
I fear it's too much to expect balance from people who have this trait.
I prefer humble and just working....earning my way and highlighting the rest.
Photography is an interesting career.
One day your working with the homeless, the next a celebrity or a story on child prostitution...the list is endless.
This weekend I have a job with a national magazine that is about genetics.
Photography is the gift that keeps giving.
Always learning and looking to make a new and better way to tell a story.
Narcissism is a serious condition and those who have it are really suffering more than most know!
The Emperor and his new cloths is a perfect story to reflect such a trait.
Are you the best you can be?
LOVE is being OPEN to learning.
Here's a little clip on the topic.
Dr Drew & Dr Saltz
( a short video worth watching)

Mark Miller . Chili . Hatch

M A R K  M I L L E R
anthropologist . chef . friend

 photograph by karen kuehn NYTimes Sunday Magazine 1993
Red Sage Washington DC

 Karen is truly a unique photographer,she finds the  overlooked or "missing part of your soul  in her photos.  She is a joy to work with,totally professional,,efficient,never exploitive or manipulative'
Mark Miller /Chef /Author

 one of many books you can purchase
Mark Miller; Anthropologist, chef and friend is best known for his menus at a number of fine dining spots Nation Wide.
The Coyote Cafe most re known here in New Mexico.
I met him at the Red Sage in Washington DC
Dining at the Presidents table wasn't too shabby for me and my crew.
 Santa Fe may be his home but he is on the road more like eight months of the year gathering and tasting foods with the best of all peoples world wide.  Marks life is anything but dull.  He's been remained a sweeter than any desert friend.  On occasion we work together and better yet toast are always with fine aged wines in glass that chimes with warmth  to one's ear.
Mark is an educator, he can't help himself so if you ever get the opportunity to share food with him, do!
Like a botanist he's always pointing out all the flavors and the origins and history of food.
Having shared meals over the last two decades always food is better with Mark by your side.

photography by karen kuehn 2001 coyote cafe nm just lunch

 Uncle Sam has your Chili in Hatch NM

Red & Green Chili
(Ask for Christmas when dining in NM)
 Ristas hanging outside your door bring good fortune to your year

Motor home Man - Hatch New Mexico

This small farming town is the hub for growing chili here in New Mexico.  The town has a few small diners and several kitch over sized beings like the one's featured here in this blog.  Not much here but if you want to know about chili this is the region and the farmers are growing world class chili's to flavor and taste....hotter than fire and mild like honey.  
If chili is your thing this is the place to visit.