"inkedKenny's photography is fantastic; dark, sexy, stylish & with an artistic sophistication which appears prodigiously to transcend this relative newcomers tenure behind the lens. By looking within himself, he found his passion & discovered a new way to look. at (& artistically present) the world; through the lens of a camera. With his natural talent & a sharp intrinsic eye, inkedKenny learned by doing & found a new calling in the process. His journey shows how your world can be when you open your eyes to the possibilities around you"
trailer for the short film documentary; THROUGH THE LENS OF INKEDKENNY
words by; Samuel Glass Jr >
Anybody can take a picture of a naked man.
This is a simple fact. Years and years’ worth of images from amateur and professional photographers, printed and reprinted and copied yet again in various coffee table books, skin mags, photo studies and collages and voluminous collections in galleries, libraries and the homes of private collectors all bear this out.
Even you or I could do it. We could even take candid, nude snaps of ourselves, and as the various websites and social media outlets display in this age of DIY digital dexterity, we often do. Simply remove clothes, aim, point and shoot.
But these are usually just pictures, nothing more, nothing less. When you talk about photography, then things get a little more complex. There is considerable skill involved in composing an image that attracts and holds the eye…entices the viewer to focus his gaze and explore. It helps to have a good subject, but it takes knowledge of depth-of-field, lighting, blocking, positioning…all of the elements of composition that will usually drive the uninspired novice to stick to his one-shot cameras from CVS or Walgreens, and venture no further into the medium.
But we’re just talking about photography. What about art?
Art goes levels deeper. Art inflames, incites, sparks conversation and debate. Art hits you in the brain pan, the heart, the gut and the crotch, and when it’s really good, it can do it all at the same time in the milliseconds it takes for you to draw breath to gasp at its insolence…its magnificence.
It doesn’t take a college degree or a practiced eye to recognize art, or when someone is an artist. Because when you see an image created by someone who has a bone-deep love, a driving passion for what they’re shooting, you just…know.
And that is why inkedKenny is an artist and not just a photographer.
inkedKenny is a man who loves men – naked, clothed, but especially naked – both physically and emotionally. And when he takes pictures of naked men, that love and passion transcends the medium in which he works, and turns those images into art.
Self-taught, with a background spanning twenty years in numerous aspects of fashion and commercial art direction and design, he’s been creating his remarkable images for just the past two years, bringing his considerable instinct and experience to bear on subject matter that we have seen numerous times before, but never like this. Working with deep shadows, natural light, water, fire, steel, grit, grime and sweat, he takes the blue-collar worker, the cage-fighter, the neighborhood thug, the leather daddy, the older bear and the fledgling cub, the willing slave and the haughty master, and shows us the dichotomies…the metaphorical aspect of these men in a way that can flip the script on a dime.
Even when much is hidden, all is revealed in an inkedKenny image, whether the pose is natural or planned. The brutal and the beautiful, the sacred and the salacious, the dangerous and the divine all co-exist in one image; painting word pictures, telling stories in a wild glance, a deep kiss, a handful of sweaty flesh gripped tightly, in the tension of a fist drawn back, the slope of a pair of broad but weary shoulders, the invitation within a pair of lean hips thrust insolently forward. All visions forged in the slope and curve of hard-earned muscle, faces carved out of the years of innocence turned and lessons learned…men with the capability of being brutal beasts in one moment, tender lovers in the next. Men in their surface simplicity and bottomless complexity.
There is nothing else out there like an inkedKenny image. If you didn’t know that before, one glance through these pages will leave you convinced, if not deeply satisfied.
And most definitely coming back for more…
- my previous life - words by; Stephan Gangabar
In the early 1980s, while in high school in Vancouver, Kenny unwittingly began his career when he volunteered to shave the heads of his rugby teammates for their championship game. Eighteen naked skulls later, the lure of shearing for shock had taken hold & Kenny started down his path to success by refining his skill, learning style & technique and maintaining his heart big along the way.
After a year of strolling through New York's dirty boulevards & fashion temples, Kenny returned to Vancouver to work in a high-profile shop. Following this, he had a series of gigs at various shops doing styling & creative direction & this led to numerous freelance photo shoots. He soon became a recognized name in the local fashion & advertising scene.
As his reputation grew, style & news publications began hiring him to work on fashion editorials, beauty stories & to provide trend forecasts. He started teaching, holding seminars & doing platform work at trade shows, showcasing technical & cutting techniques for such companies as Framesi, Joico, & Goldwell. Looking for fresh ideas & adventure, he went on to Los Angeles to sign on with his first agency. Working primarily on photo shoots, he moved between Seattle, San Francisco, L.A, Hawaii, & Mexico, working on campaigns for companies like Macy's, Nordstrom's, Nike & Levis.
Along the way he worked on such notable faces such as Sandra Bernhardt, Patricia Arquette, Carrie Anne Moss, Monica Belluci & Mia Kirshner. Most recently, Kenny has been spreading his work between Montreal & Toronto. Represented by Judy Inc., Kenny's clients include Holt Renfrew, Aveeno, Salon Selectives, Pantene, Motorola & Smirnoff. He has increasingly turned his attention toward applying his craft and experience as part of the creative direction for event clients such as Cirque de Soleil, the Toronto International Film Festival, J. Lo Lingerie, Elizabeth Arden, Northbound Leather, and M.A.C Fashion Cares.
Whether it’s designing, consulting, educating or producing, Kenny stands out as a focused professional. He has earned a reputation for being a creative and innovative force - a leading expert in bringing aesthetic visions to life.
time to conquer another skill set...
Be Inspired-words by; R Kenny
Photography has taken hold of Kenny in his creative journey. His inspirations comes from a legacy of influences & relationships. A lifetime of leaving a mark on people & faces has now transitioned to imagery. He challenges his subjects to be aware of their confidence, passions & desires putting them in the centre of their own exhibition & finding no excuses when that hunger is realized bringing the subject to a whole other level...
a few words from; Robert Ridgway
I met Kenny Lee last summer when he was art directing a raunchy show for gay pride that would have involved a chick (Lena Love) fucking me with a strap on on stage. Unfortunately, the guy I was dating at the time thought that this was offensive and pressured me to back out. A few weeks later when jealousy ruined the relationship and I returned to Toronto. I was told through a friend that Kenny was interested in getting a hold of me for a photo shoot. As I am the long lost dumpster baby of Dawn Davenport I am genetically predisposed to any sort of exhibitionist act and this photo shoot fit the bill. I was definitely intrigued especially after seeing the twisted ideas Kenny had come up with for the pride show. The first night we met to shoot Kenny and I took a night time tour of the back alleys near his house he used the available lighting provided by the street lights, the effect was amazing and I was impressed, and being the jaded cunt that I am that says a lot.
He used the first shoot as a chance to get to know me and what makes me tick. He got around to finding out my personal sexual interests, which tend to be deeply rooted in the world of deviance. When he asked what turned my crank I quickly said ....'guns, dogs and fighting are what get me hard.' He asked if we could shoot again the following weekend this time he brought a dog, I acquired a hand gun, and last minute I borrowed a Hitler youth arm-band from a friend, just to push the limit a little further. The thing that I found most impressive about Kenny was his desire to push the envelope and really take the risks required to get the beautiful edgy shots that he has become known for. Besides being a photographer who is intrinsically technically proficient he also likes to explore subject matter that give his photos a dark and intense narrative. He has a great ability to form a great report with his models which is important if you want to photograph the subject matter that Kenny explores. For a Man who only picked up photography in the last two years Kenny is a natural who's talents and abilities have truly blown me away. I am forever grateful to have had the chance to pose for such a extremely talented, extremely twisted, artist who is such a sweet man to the core.