articles
todd
camplin
2014
GEOF KERN   
at PDNB Gallery through November 15
by Todd Camplin  

When visiting galleries on Dragon Street, sometimes I make the mistake of not dropping in
to see PDNB Gallery. Yet when I remember to peek inside, I often find images that move me
or challenge me. Because photography is encountered by us everyday in multiple platforms,
sometimes I forget that photos can be artfully made. This month PDNB Gallery features Dallas’
own Geof Kern and his dialogue photos with Modern artists.
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plays within the style and motif of these 20th century artists. I read a few articles that bat around
the term ‘surreal’ to describe his style and I see Kern playing with this idea of dream imagery, but
I think this term of ‘surreal’ oversimplify his photos. I would more closely align his work with the
absurdist writers. Kern plays with the slightly off, out of set narrative rather than the completely
conscious realm. I can’t stop thinking about Yves Klein’s Leap into the Void, when looking at
Kern’s Untitled (model flying from  the bedroom window). The leap is more of a walk, but I see
a clear correlation between Kern and Klein, only Kern’s model takes on an expression that
looks like it came out of a Paul Delvaux painting.
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and then his production of the image leaves less to chance. Personally I enjoy photographs
that are heavily staged. I feel comfortable with the language film and moving pictures have
the feeling I get when I see a Cindy Sherman photo from her Untitled Film Still series. You come
away thinking, haven’t I seen that shot in a movie? You might say Kern helps to add a little
mystery in his images. It might be just me, but I see the possibility of a Hitchcock type plot
playing out in some of these photos.
Untitled (model flying from  the bedroom window), 1995
Two Men Hiding, 1992