Thursday, July 9, 2009

Julie Blackmon


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Julie Blackmon

Artist Statement (color work):

Domestic Vacations: The Dutch proverb “a Jan Steen household” originated in the 17th century and is used today to refer to a home in disarray, full of rowdy children and boisterous family gatherings. The paintings of Steen, along with those of other Dutch and Flemish genre painters, helped inspire this body of work. I am the oldest of nine children and now the mother of three. As Steen’s personal narratives of family life depicted nearly 400 yrs. ago, the conflation of art and life is an area I have explored in photographing the everyday life of my family and the lives of my sisters and their families at home. These images are both fictional and auto-biographical, and reflect not only our lives today and as children growing up in a large family, but also move beyond the documentary to explore the fantastic elements of our everyday lives, both imagined and real.

The stress, the chaos, and the need to simultaneously escape and connect are issue that I investigate in this body of work. 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. Caught in the swirl of soccer practices, play dates, work, and trying to find our way in our “make-over” culture, we must still create the space to find ourselves. The expectations of family life have never been more at odds with each other. These issues, as well as the relationship between the domestic landscape of the past and present, are issues I have explored in these photographs. I believe there are moments that can be found throughout any given day that bring sanctuary. It is in finding these moments amidst the stress of the everyday that my life as a mother parallels my work as an artist, and where the dynamics of family life throughout time seem remarkably unchanged. As an artist and as a mother, I believe life’s most poignant moments come from the ability to fuse fantasy and reality: to see the mythic amidst the chaos.


Julie Blackmon



62 comments:

Penny said...

These are all awesome/creepy in a very everyday way.I like them a lot.

Chessa! said...

these are incredible and so relevant. loved reading her artist statement...put it all into perspective.

miriam said...

great statement, and her work is unbelievable cool! xx.

K.Line said...

I LOVE these. So complex. They seem simple at first but the subtext is very resonant.

the eternal list said...

very nice, very cute, i love how she uses space and spacing

Char said...

very odd and therefore, very eyecatching

TERI REES WANG said...

Yes!..Bring back the family portraits.
Brilliant.

Amy said...

children frighten me!!! At least there was a happy dog in one...

brooke said...

wow...i could seriously look at these for hours...i love the oddity of it all...

asweetcakes said...

These are so creative. They remind me of my family. I wish i could take pictures like this...really!

Diane said...

amazing work!! i love every one!

Gary Heller said...

This is a great body of work and series. I like the idea of Domestic Vacation and portraying the household in chaos and disarray.
the works are well executed and planned/set up. i like the whimsical and yet odd and eerie mix that are found in most of these images.
A friend of mine really loves this type of style and subject matter and i'll surely be forwarding to him.
Great stuff!

♥Aubrey said...

My life fits right in...maybe they're stalking me :)- That little boy eating bubble gum for dinner is TOTALLY my son. You've been linked into my post today ♥

TheBeautyFile said...

I am so in love with this post...I adore every photo & love her point of view.

ticklishfromadistance said...

Sort of kooky and complex. Beautiful.

Savvy Mode SG said...

i see some of my friends' lives like that..... : )

Adorably Distracted... said...

I love these!!

diane said...

Her perspective is encouraging. My favorite one is the little girl behind the curtain. At least, I hope that's a little girl, and not a budding Anthony Perkins.

Iva said...

I love her statement. I am an only child, so all the chaos looks like fun to me! LOL

I love all of these. The sprinkler is a great shot! My Little Man loves to run in water like that, he laughs so loud, and the super man picture too is totally perfect, he'll run around the house "I'm Super Man, Super Man Mommy!! I FLY I FLY!! I GO HIGHER MOMMY HIGHER!!"{he's 2} lol melts my heart.AND the table with the baby ON it and eggs EVERYWHERE. YUP. been there. LOL

Another PERFECT post!!

<3,
Iva

Milly said...

Different but beautiful...i can stare at these for hrs.

Elizabeth Marie said...

I want that first one so bad. That little girl is a total badass. The details in these are awesome. And Vincent is staring at me as I type this with his zombie eyes.

FABULOUS youuuuuuuuuuu xoxo

Pretty Little World said...

I feel as though I would like to own one of these photographs, and also fairly confident that I probably couldn't afford any of them :(

Lily G. said...

oh my! Some of these are disturbing but very intriguing!

liliesandgrapes.blogspot.com

Simply Mel said...

This could possibly be one of my favorite group of photos...I love how real and chaotic they are...just like life! Yet, there is that sense of pretty perfection at the same time. very cool!

Phoenix said...

Awesome pictures, thanks (as usual) for sharing your cool finds! Also: that ballerina in the top photo looks like she could kick someone's ass. I love it.

Kristin said...

Reconciling motherhood with the modern urban existance isn't always an easy thing. What an awesome exploration this series is!

Sandra said...

Lovely, funny, caught-in-moment photos! Really love it Drollgirl! :D

box-of-style

Gabby said...

These are genius.

Hope your week is going well, lady!

Sam said...

Fantastic frozen moments! It's interesting that I was looking at the photos and they are so fun to my mind and whimsical but then I read her piece where she talks about her work and she is quite a serious person. But so on the money! Our culture is child ocsessed! And self centred...many thanks for the intro!

down and out chic said...

you have certainly found a treasure here. this is some children's photography i can get into. (that sounded strange, you know what i mean).

CC said...

that room with the dolls posing as children....is totally creepy! :)

Phoenix said...

SPICY chocolate cookies? Please excuse the drool on my keyboard. Oh, and get thee to a crepery STAT!

Sasha said...

Love them all! Incredible work!!!

dapper kid said...

These are SO unbelievably stunning! I am in love with that first photograph.

Alicia @ boylerpf said...

Totally enjoyed reading her reflections on the work which is FABULOSO!!

caroline duke said...

oooh my i love every single one of these.

smile steady said...

I love these pictures (and your blog)! Found you through Iva Messy, and I can't wait to keep reading!

smile steady said...

I love these pictures (and your blog)! Found you through Iva Messy, and I can't wait to keep reading!

...love Maegan said...

I'm kind of IN LOVE with these ...they remind me of The Valley. I think I want one of each ...please.



{Please tell me why map has more power over the man than I do? I know for a fact I'm smarter than ...yet he still doesn't trust my skillz. I feel like a woman in the 80's trying to be heard in a man's world. LOL!!!!}

Fresh said...

Wow. I've actually seen her in person, and gotten to look at her portfolio. Her digital prints are HUGE. She's apparently a friend/acquaintance of my photography teacher, Keith Carter. Maybe you've heard of him? I'm so in love with her use of color; funny, I never thought I'd learn about digital photography and color through someone who knows Keith (he's a king of b&w SLR).

Kotori said...

These are so different I could spend hours just looking at each one. I can't decide which is my favorite (maybe the girl with the ball... too funny).

alissa said...

definitely my favorite artist you've ever posted - love love love. theyre each so interesting in their own way!
who new kids were cute? just sit little adults that scream in the grocery store:)

The Cottage Cheese said...

The Blacmon photographs are beyond amazing! My favorite is of the little boy in front of the window. (only partially biased by the fabulous 1950's lamps)

K @ Blog Goggles said...

Oh, children...

P.S. Your blog has been crashing my IE lately. No idea why. Just wanted to let you know why I haven't been commenting!

Lianne said...

I love absolutely all of these, but the family portrait where Dad is holding Jr by the feel -- LOVE IT!!!! Thanks for posting these, they made both boyfriend and me laugh out loud.

Andhari said...

They look soooo...weird and fascinating at the same time!:)

sallymandy said...

I adore this work. Not only are the photos meaningful in content as well as fun and funny, but the compositions are leaving me a little breathless. How she put them together is fantastic. Thanks for bringing these to your readers! xo

Girl Japan: April Marie Claire said...

She is so talented, they are funny, spontaneous... I love em.

Dooder City said...

These are super great. I want to toss a baby up in the air. I feel like this is almost a Revolutionary Road commentary on suburbia.

mothersvea said...

great shots! they made me smile for half an hour!

thereddeer said...

Wow I love these!! Love, love, love!

The Haute-Shopper said...

These are fascinating. I think they definitely require a second look. And I'm not surprised these are inspired by Dutch painters, considering the Dutch are very family-oriented but both parents will also be very hard-workers and won't sacrifice too much of their own lives either. I like the surreal quality many of these have. Thanks for sharing!

josie(bean) said...

ohhh kids, i hope to have some BA family photos of my own when i have children!

Diane said...

Wow, I adore these photographs!! I especially like the one with the family lounging by the pool. It's got nice framing (and what is that toddler doing so near the pool's edge?!).

Vivienne said...

These are fabulous and at the same time a teeny, tiny bit disturbing.
Love them.

Gabbi said...

I love her work. The childhood theme is so well done... !!

Hanako66 said...

I have been trying to comment on this since yesterday! these are AMAZING....love, love, love!

Gaia said...

I like them all. Each pics have a different meaning , really I don't know which one to pick. Maybe the second one... think!

Gaia said...

Almost forgotten: Thanks for your advise!

Big Red said...

Love, love, LOVE!!!

Diana said...

The description hits you but it makes sense. They are beautiful photos but they do say so much.

law firm designers said...

Love these photos! I am amazed and can't stop looking at them. I can't even say what is so special about them but I have never seen anything like that.