CAN YOU SEE THE MYTHIC AMIDTS THE CHAOS?
I can definitely find a thousand words to describe the perfect mayhem in this Julie Blackmon photograph. Julie is one of nine children and has three of her own, so I don’t know if normal can mean anything other than familial chaos. Her work is a modern take on the family, inspired by the work of 17th Century Dutch painter Jan Steen, who often depicted raucous family scenes. She has managed to encapsulate all of the feelings that I have about my own life as a mother into one neat little disorderly package.
I love what she has to say about her work:
“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.”
Blackmon’s work has been recognized by top galleries and photography publications worldwide and is currently on display here in Los Angeles at the Fahey / Klein Gallery. She will also be speaking on Thursday, April 12th at The Annenberg Space for Photography’s IRIS Nights Lecture Series. CLICK HERE TO REGISTER.
*All photo’s are the property and work of Julie Blackmon. More info on her at www.julieblackmon.com.