Julie Blackmon is a talented self taught photographer, who was born in 1966 in Springfield, Missouri. Inspired by 17th-century Dutch and Flemish paintings of domestic life, Julie photographs carefully orchestrated tableaus that feature members of her own family and are imbued with a sense of the uncanny. Blackmon’s precisely choreographed domestic scenes apply an uncanny sense of balance, color composition, and proportion to households in various states of child-provoked disarray. Julie studied art education and photography at Southwest Missouri State University. While at the university, Blackmon became interested in the Contemporary photography of Sally Mann and Keith Carter. She takes the elements of normal family life, using her own three children, and changes it from the merely documentary to an exploration of the fantastic parts to everyday life.
Blackmon has been known to mix the everyday with the fictitious for sometimes humorous, and often touching, photographs. Mind Games (2004) was Blackmon’s first major body of work. The series explores childhood play through black-and white-photographs. The photographs focus on both external objects and internal imagination, the combination from which play is derived. The grouping won Blackmon her first Merit Award from the Society for Contemporary Photography, Kansas City, MO, in 2004.
Her work creates a world where children reign supreme in large modern gothic homes, and parents, when visible, appear as if caught in between the dream of adult and childhood. The scenes aren’t so much surreal as it is exaggerated, mythic—with a minimal precision that compliments the chaos at hand.