We all have expectations of life. Perceptions of what our ideal world would look like. Those expectations seem to be heightened these days by the images of perfect lives we are bombarded with daily via social media and lifestyle blogs. Every meal shall be perfectly garnished with stylishly mismatched vintage dinnerware! Children will be the very picture of tiny fashion perfection and their birthday parties shall rival that of the royals!
Taking her cue from the Jan Steen household, a 17th century Dutch painter’s style turned shorthand for a messy scene, photographer Julie Blackmon explores the disparagement between a society that is both “child centered” and “self-obsessed”.
In her domestic scenes, we often see no adult figures, only children, as if pardon this turn of phrase, the inmates are running the asylum. I apologize for that reference, yet it is what kept coming to mind as I was going through the portfolio. I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad point of departure. Children need freedom and play, it is essential to their development especially in our over scheduled world. Blackmon is capturing these fleeting moments of the chaos of childhood, in all its messy, mythic reality.