Sean Kernan

After working in theater for several years, finding photography was like getting on a horse that promptly ran away with me on a great adventure. I’m still on the horse, and it has taken me across the world, into prisons, up the Himalayas, into fighting in Northern Ireland, to Greece, to Egypt, to Mexico, Turkey and Cuba.
One of the greatest adventures was into my own mind and imagination, and it resulted in The Secret Books. It let me make books, without exactly writing them, that pointed to all of the Mysteries of Life, Death and the Universe. Needless to say, I didn’t come to understanding Life, Death and the Universe, but I feel their mystery, and so I took my clue from my collaborator, the great Jorge Luis Borges, who found it easier to write reviews of imaginary books than to write the actual books themselves. So these pictures of books, invoke books, as yet unwritten.
And so, I realize, are the forest photographs in another book, Among Trees. They were taken in specific woods, but I was always looking for something archetypal, and in the end it was the sequence and the journey that was important, not the views of trees. This is as much a walk in the imagination as it is in the woods.
The Winter Light pictures more or less ambushed me recently on short walks into the margin between night and day near my house. It is a way I seldom work, but these insisted and it was delightfully like returning to my photographic beginnings.
Most recently I have been working on series of video images made at the Kampala Boxing Club in Uganda and on the Crow Reservation in Montana. These were nothing I set out to do, but doors opened and I stepped through.
So what I hope I have learned in all this is that if the spirited horse of the imagination wants to take you someplace, just go.”
Sean Kernan currently resides in the sleepy and enchanting Connecticut shoreline town of Stony Creek. He is a fine art photographer, a commercial photographer, a teacher, a writer, a lecturer and the recipient of many awards for his imaginative and compelling photography. He has participated in dozens of solo and group exhibitions worldwide.

A Selection of Solo & Group Exhibitions:
Portland Dance Festival ME  Drowned (multimedia/dance work) 2012
Photography West Gallery, Carmel CA, 2011 (OP)
Connecticut Commission on Culture Gallery  2011 (G)
Jennifer Jane Gallery, New Haven, 2010  (OP)
MASS MoCA MA  Drowned (multimedia/dance work)  2010
Viewpoint Gallery, Sacramento,  2008 (OP)
Guggenheim Projects, NY, (projections for dance work) 2007
Centre Regional de la Photographie, Duchy, France, 2006 (OP)
The Iris Gallery, 2005
Biblioteca Alexandrina, Alexandria, Egypt 2005, 2002 (G) 
Museo de la Ciudad, Queretaro, MX 2001 (OP)
Kunsthaus Santa Fe, San Miguel MX 2001 (OP)
Sala Bustos, Guanajuato (Mexico) 2001 (OP)
William Benton Museum of Art, University of Connecticut (OP) 2002, 2004
Photosynkiria, Thessaloniki, Greece,  (1st Place) 2001, (OP)
Friends of Photography (San Francisco) (OP) 1980, 1999
Wesleyan University (Connecticut) (OP) 1981, 1995
Whitney Museum (New York) (G) 1982

Teaching & Lectures:
Society of Psychiatric Residence Supervisors, Lecture, 2012
ASMP National lecture series 2011
Yale Medical School, Lecture, 2010
Savannah College of Art and Design, Photo Program reviewer, 2010
AIGA CT, Lecture, 2010
Maine Media Workshops Faculty, 1985-present
Art Center, Pasadena, 2008, 2005
Santa Fe Workshops Faculty 1992-present
CASE Editor’s Conference,  Keynote, 2008
ASMP National Lecture Series, 2008, 2011
Townhouse Gallery, Lecture, Cairo, 2005
Society for Photographic Education, Keynote, 2003
University of Texas, Lecture, 2001
International Center for Photography 1979, 1998 , 2010, 2013
The New School/Parsons 1974-1994           
Wesleyan University Lectures 1978, 1995, 2001, 2010
Manhattanville College, 1972-74

The Secret Books (with Jorge Luis Borges) 1999
Darrell Petit: In Stone 2008
Among Trees 2003
Covers of 7 Books by Jorge Luis Borges, Penguin, 2012
Innovation/Imagination: 50 Years of Polaroid Photography 

Selected Publications:
New York Times, Lens, 2012
BBC Brazil Blog 2012
Dastan (Iran) 2011
Lenswork, 2010, 2003
Graphis Photography Annual  2002, 2003, 2004,2006, 2008, 2009
New York Times Magazine  1980, 1998, 2000 
Camera Obscura, Greece 2002
Polyrama, Switzerland 2004
Youth Vision, China, 2003
Communication Arts (Profile) 2003
Communication Arts (US) 1994, 1997, 1998, 2001

Awards and Honors:
Excellence in Teaching, The Center, Santa Fe 2010
Doctor of Humane Letters (HC), Art Center, Pasadena 2005
Connecticut Art Directors, Lifetime Achievement 2004
Polaroid International Awards, First Place, Fine Arts
Photosynkyria, Thessaloniki, Greece 2000, First Prize 

Advice in a Meltdown,  ASMP Bulletin 2010
Buddhist Economics, Edgar Online, 2009
Creative Reincarnation, Communication Arts 2008
Stay Awake, Art Center Magazine, Pasadena, 2005
Design Issues: How Graphic Design Informs Society ( Ed. DK Holland)
My (Short) Life in Theater, Communication Arts, 2006
And So As You Go Forward in Life… Lenswork,  2004
Among Trees Afterword, 2003
Pure Face, PhotoInsider 2002
Surviving Criticism, Communication Arts 2005
Interview, View Camera, 1999
Works and Days: the Artist Alan Magee, Graphis, 2003
The Secret Books (introduction) 1999
The Artist Lost and Found Communication Arts, 1996

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