When I happened upon Domestic Vacations, a photographic series by Julie Blackmon, I was immediately drawn to the surreal and somewhat chaotic nature present in the work. I found myself eagerly scrolling through the online gallery, captivated by the subjects and scenes.
Admittedly, I know nothing about contemporary artistic photography, so I was was uncertain if I was viewing something genius or maybe a bit weird.
I chose the former after reading Blackmon’s artist statement for Domestic Vacations.
Excerpts from the statement: The Dutch proverb “a Jan Steen household” originated in the 17th century and is used today to refer to a home in disarray, full of rowdy children and boisterous family gatherings. The paintings of Steen, along with those of other Dutch and Flemish genre painters, helped inspire this body of work (Blackmon is also the oldest of 9 children, with 3 of her own).
Blackmon writes, “we live in a culture where we are both “child centered” and “self-obsessed…The struggle between living in the moment versus escaping to another reality is intense since these two opposites strive to dominate. The expectations of family life have never been more at odds with each other.”
Blackmon believes there are moments throughout any given day that can bring you “sanctuary.” This is where Blackmon finds parallels to her work as an artist and life as a mother.
She continues, “as an artist and as a mother, I believe life’s most poignant moments come from the ability to fuse fantasy and reality: to see the mythic amidst the chaos.”
Wow – I’m impressed…although I’m surprised not to see a photo with a Mom blogging! enjoy hh