October 10, 2014
We're intrigued by Julie Blackmon's darkly satiric photographs of parenthood in her new book Homegrown, a mature follow-up to her 2008 debut collection, Domestic Vacations. Both projects were inspired by the vibrant, often chaotic, scenes of daily Dutch life depicted by 17th century painter Jan Steen. While Domestic Vacations focuses on children and their place in the home,Homegrown asks questions about the confusing nature of parenthood. In an interview with New York Magazine, Blackmon said of the comedic element to her work, "It’s way too hard to do something serious … I just wouldn’t have any fun with that, unless I threw in some little horrible detail in the background. That’s always what I’m aiming for — but not in a simple way. It’s a funny way that makes you recognize something that you’re kind of creeped out or you’re kind of charmed by — and all these things come together to make you laugh. At least, those are the things that make me laugh."
Julie Blackmon: Free Range is now on display at the Robert Mann Gallery in New York City (525 W. 26th St, between 10th & 11th Avenues) through October 18, 2014, Monday-Friday 10am-6pm. Homegrown, with a forward by poet Billy Collins and including a conversation with Reese Witherspoon, is available in bookstores.