Julie Blackmon (born 1966 in Springfield, Missouri) is a photographer who lives and works in Missouri. Blackmon's photographs are inspired by her experience of growing up in a large family, her current role as both mother and photographer, and the timelessness of family dynamics. As the oldest of nine children and mother to three, Blackmon uses her own family members and household to "move beyond the documentary to explore the fantastic elements of our everyday lives."
Blackmon studied art at Missouri State University where she became interested in photography and the work of photographers such as Sally Mann and Keith Carter. Drawing extensively on her personal experiences and relationships, Blackmon adds an element of humor and fantasy to create works that touch on both the everyday and the fictitious.
Mind Games, Blackmon’s first major body of work, explores childhood play through a series of black and white images that deal with the external objects and internal imagination through which play is derived. In 2004, the series won her honorable mention in Project Competition hosted by the Santa Fe Center for Photography and a merit award from the Society of Contemporary Photography in Kansas City, MO.
Following Mind Games, Blackmon switched to color film and began using digital technologies to intensify the hue of her photographs, as well as collage elements from multiple shots into one image. The resulting photographs of family life appear at once disorderly and playful, and at times impossible. Blackmon says that the images in her series Domestic Vacations recall the tableaux of 17th century Dutch and Flemish painters, notably the chaotic familial scenes of Jan Steen. Tailored environments and carefully placed props are often a feature of her work.
Representation, Exhibits, and Publications
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Blackmon is represented by the Robert Mann gallery in New York, among others. Her work has been shown in numerous exhibitions and can be found in the permanent collections of the George Eastman House, Rochester, NY; the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, MO; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX; and the Photographic Center Northwest, Seattle, WA. Blackmon’s photographs have also appeared in the pages of Time, The New Yorker, and Oxford American.
In 2008, a monograph of Blackmon's work was published under the title Domestic Vacations.
- Julie Blackmon's website
- Robert Mann Gallery
- G. Gibson Gallery, Seattle, WA
- KIDS, The David Winton Bell Gallery, press release
- Review of Julie Blackmon at Robert Mann Gallery by Robert Shuster, Oct. 6, 2010
- Blackmon, Julie. Artist Statement (color work). Accessed on Oct. 15, 2010
- Nordström, Alison. “Interview with Julie Blackmon” in Domestic Vacations. (Santa Fe, N.M.: Radius Books, 2008).
- Greene, Kendra. "Julie Blackmon" for the Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago.
- Nordström, "Interview with Julie Blackmon"
- Kuntz, Melissa (October 2007). "KIDS Photography Exhibition on Display at the Bell Gallery". Brown University News. Retrieved 2008-06-04.