Richard Kern (born 1954 in North Carolina) is a New York underground filmmaker, writer and photographer. He first came to underground prominence as part of the underground cultural explosion in the East Village of New York City in the 1980s, with eroticand experimental films featuring underground personalities of the time such as Lydia Lunch, David Wojnarowicz, Sonic Youth,Kembra Pfahler, Karen Finley and Henry Rollins in movies like The Right Side of My Brain and Fingered. Like many of the musicians around him, Kern had a deep interest in the aesthetics of extreme sex, violence, and perversion and was one of the leading lights of the movement which Nick Zedd coined the Cinema of Transgression.
« Richard Kern, photographer and filmmaker remains, first and foremost, a portraitist. For more than two decades Kern has sought to unravel and illuminate the complex and often darker sides of human nature. Kern makes the psychological space between the sitter, photographer and audience his subject. With his dry, matter of fact approach, he underlines the absurdity of truth and objectivity in photography while playing with our reliance upon taxonomies around sexual representation. » Matthew Higgs
Kern is a regular contributor to Vice and Purple and has published 11 books. His films and photographs have been exhibited at MOMA, The Whitney Museum and in more than 30 solo shows around the world. Kern lives and works in New York City.