Julie Blackmon is a mother of three and the oldest of nine children, so it's probably not surprising that her series "Domestic Vacations" captures the chaos of life in a house with active kids.
The everyday hectic moments are illuminated in a style reminiscent of Flemish and Dutch genre painters; the photographer even cites Jan Steen as an influence. Blackmon depicts ordinary events in a realistic style, and yet when a photo is translated into this painterly technique, something unreal emerges. It's the details that get to you: the uncoiled hose, the sheet music discarded on a dirty floor, and the half-tan of a girl in a polka-dot swimsuit.
Seeing the physical smallness of children against the towering surroundings reminds us that we were once in awe of every little detail of daily life. As Kendra Green said, the works "dignify wonder as the natural occupation of children." This childhood sense of finding the bizarre in your backyard makes these photos both nostalgic and surreal.
Blackmon's new work will show at Fahey/Klein Gallery in Los Angeles until April 14.
What do these images say to you? Are they peaceful, overwhelming, spooky or sweet? Let us know in the comments.
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