The unstill life of Julie Blackmon
As the oldest of nine children and the mother of three, domesticity is a prevalent factor in photographer Julie Blackmon‘s work as well as in her daily life. Her latest exhibition, “Julie Blackmon: Line-Up,” at the Robert Mann Gallery, is a study of classic art historical motifs reinterpreted with scenes from her own childhood. Those who have never experienced the frenetic environment of a house full of children can get a glimpse of that world from Blackmon’s chaotic mash-up of crawling babies, running toddlers and scattered toys. To children, everything is a potential plaything, be it a bookcase, a chandelier or the new family car. The children in Blackmon’s work (actually her own children, nieces and nephews), take over the entire photograph, invading all four corners of the frame. Even in some of the quieter compositions, that sense of playfulness juxtaposed with impending disaster is immediate. But what strikes you first about these photographs is the impossibly perfect compositions. They’re so perfect, in fact, that it comes as no surprise that the final product is a digitally compiled series of individual shots. It’s precisely this aesthetic that got Blackmon a spot on PDN’s list of “30 New and Emerging Photographers” and why she was named American Photo’s “Emerging Photographer of 2008.”
“Julie Blackmon: Line-Up” is at the Robert Mann Gallery through October 23, 2010.