Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Domestic Disturbances: The Art of Julie Blackmon

"Patio" by Julie Blackmon. Does it resonate for you?
Lately, I've been feeling the need to break free of both my self-imposed gift idea and pricing constraints. In another life, not too long ago, I bought lots of art (mostly photography). The thing I most regret is not purchasing any of photographer Julie Blackmon's work.

Blackmon tells rather sinister stories about everyday domestic life. Troublesome children, distracted parents, random animals and toys, and undercurrents of danger all inhabit her images. My guess is that, just like the work of photographer Gregory Crewdson, Blackmon painstakingly plans and composes her shots as carefully as any movie scene. Her shots range from the strangely humorous (a pool boasts an inflatable great white shark) to positively gothic (a child's head peers up into a dark, dingy attic with a doll's head resting on the floor). I've seen her art in person, and it had a palpable impact on me. As a fan of the disturbing (god knows how my daughter's going to turn out, raised in a house with such creepy art), Blackmon's imagery appealed much.

I chose this image, "Patio," because it sort of blends a mid-century modernist aesthetic with white trash neglect. One of Blackmon's themes tends to be the emotionally removed parent whilst the kids run amok. It reminds me of earlier parenthood; my ten year old doesn't require the supervision anymore.

Go to Julie Blackmon's site and see more of her work. She's good fun in a disturbing sort of way.


Donna Tetreault said...

I love this photo... even though it's not exactly my picture of perfect parenting, sometimes I wish I could just let go!

Christina Simon said...

This is so cool. I love the modern vibe of this photo...you could look at it and see something new every time.