Saturday, September 27, 2008

Julie Blackmon (Janna's Pick)

Julie Blackmon is a photographer who uses digital composites to create family scenes that are often chaotic or strange. She was the oldest of nine children and now she is the mother of three. These experiences led her to want to explore, as she says in her artist statement, "the need to simultaneously escape and connect." She is inspired by Jan Steen and other classic Dutch and Flemish painters. She says, "We live in a culture where we are both 'child centered' and 'self-obsessed.' The struggle between living in the moment versus escaping to another reality is intense since these two opposites strive to dominate."

Although I will be probably be using digital collage in a different way than she does, I am also interested in setting scenes and telling stories in my work. Her depiction of family life will be different than mine as an only child, but we are dealing with a similar issue in "the relationship between the domestic landscape of the past and present."

Blackmon also works in black and white photography. Her photos in this medium are about childhood. They remind me some of Duane Michals in that they have a similar dream-like quality, like in this photo titled "Trampoline." I really like the quieter, almost eerier quality of her black and white photos.

Julie Blackmon's official website
ArtInfo review
Boston University article


Dantem said...
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slawler said...

It's so interesting that at first glance Blackmon's "Trampoline" image looks so much like Michal's "Joseph Cornell, 1972", use of silhouette, b&w, eerie mood. But at closer inspection the two styles are incredibly different. The graphic nature and odd perspective of Blackmon's digital work is easily seen in her b&w, while Michal's resonates as more of an antiquated formal portrait.