I was instantly drawn to the domestic scenes portrayed in the stunning photographs by the artist Julie Blackmon. I first saw her work at the Houston Center for Photography, and again at the Texas Fine Arts Fair last month. I stood in front of her work longer than just about any other artist. At the moment, her newest body of work is being exhibited at the Robert Mann Gallery in New York City until January 2013 (but if you miss this date the gallery director, Caroline Wall, will show you Ms. Blackmon’s work anytime.)
Her images draw inspiration from the Dutch and Flemish masters of the 17th century, particularly Jan Steen. The family life is the narrative for her work; a genre not unlike the Northern European masters — take a look.
As you can see, Ms. Blackmon uses her own family as subjects in a marvelous and fantastical way. She is one of nine children, and a mother of three. There is harmony in the carefully crafted settings of her pictures, like a moment standing still, in the midst of the clear chaos of everyday life. Ms. Blackmon captures the stillness necessary to find in family life: moments of escape into the realm of fantasy. This clipping of domestic noise with a click to capture a mythical quiet, might be akin to hearing the I-10 freeway as an ocean while sitting in your backyard, it is a fantasy that works. Her photographs are amazing. She is truly an artist with a camera.