Julie Blackmon (American, b.1966) is a photographer who draws upon her experience growing up with a large family to create award-winning photographs. She was born in Springfield, MO, and is the oldest of nine children. Blackmon studied art education and photography at Southwest Missouri State University. While at the university, Blackmon became interested in the Contemporary photography of Sally Mann (American, b. 1951) and Keith Carter (American, b. 1948). 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.

Carefully placed props are often a major part of Blackmon’s photographs, evoking the works of the early Danish and Flemish painters, notably Jan Steen. For her second major work, Blackmon switched from black-and-white to color film for a series of whimsical shots of family life. She set many of these photographs into collage form and titled the series Domestic Vacations (2006). In 2006, the series received first-place honors at Photospiva, after having been judged by one of Blackmon's favorite photographers, Keith Carter. Blackmon is typically known for photographing just one child at a time.

Blackmon has had several works on display at the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago, IL, the Robert Mann Gallery in New York, NY, the Catherine Edelman Gallery in Chicago, IL, the Fahey Klein Gallery in Los Angeles, CA, the Photographers Gallery in London, England, and the Photoeye Gallery in Seattle, WA. Blackmon's photographs have also appeared in Time, The New Yorker, and Oxford American. Blackmon lives and works in Springfield, MO.

Timeline

1966
Born in Springfield, MO
2004
Santa Fe Center for Photography Project Competition, Honorable Mention for Mind Games
Society for Contemporary Photography, Kansas City, MO, USA, Current Works Contest, Merit Award for Mind Games
2005
Photospiva, 1st Place, for body of work, Mind Games
B&W Magazine, Merit Award, Single Image Contest
2006
Critical Mass Book Award Winner, for Domestic Vacations
Santa Fe Center for Photography Project Competition, 1st Place, for Domestic Vacations
Photospiva, 1st Place, for body of work, Domestic Vacations
2007
PDN's 30
2008
American Photo's Emerging Photographer of 2008
Studied art education and photography, Missouri State University, Springfield, MO
Lives and works in Springfield, MO

Exhibitions

2012
Julie Blackmon: Domestic Vacations, photo-eye Gallery, Santa Fe, NM (solo)
2011
Domestic Vacations, Hammer Gallery, Zurich, Switzerland
2010
Robert Klein Gallery, Boston, MA, USA
2009
Fahey Klein Gallery, Los Angeles, CA (solo)
Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, Boulder, CO, USA
2008
Presumed Innocent, DeCordova Museum, Boston, MA, USA
Domestic Vacations, photo-eye Gallery, Santa Fe, NM, USA (solo)
Domestic Vacations, Catherine Edelman Gallery, Chicago, IL, USA (solo)
Domestic Vacations, Gail Gibson Gallery, Seattle, WA, USA (solo)
PPhoto LA, Los Angeles, CA, USA
Claire Oliver Gallery, New York, NY, USA (solo)
2007
Domestic Vacations, Gail Gibson Gallery, Seattle, WA, USA (solo)
Domestic Vacations, Claire Oliver Gallery, New York, NY, USA (solo)
KIDS, Brown University, Providence, RI, USA
2006
Catherine Edelman Gallery, Chicago, IL, USA (solo)
Blue Sky Gallery, Portland, OR, USA (solo)
Photoeye Gallery, Santa Fe, NM, USA (solo)
Good Girl Art Gallery, Springfield, MO, USA (solo)
Arts Center of the Ozarks, Fayettville, AR, USA (solo)
Domestic Diaries, Museum of Contemporary Photography
Family Pack, Society for Contemporary Photography, Kansas City, KS, USA
Photographic Center Northwest, Chick Flick, Seattle, WA, USA
Jenkins Johnson Gallery, American Eden, New York, NY, USA
2005
Group Portrait, Boston University, Photographic Resource Center, Boston, MA, USA
University of Arkansas, Little Rock, AK, USA (solo)
Selections from Photographers’ Showcase, Photoeye Gallery, Santa Fe, NM, USA
2004
PhotoSpiva, Joplin, MO, USA
MPP, Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago, IL, USA
Current Works, Society For Contemporary Photography, Kansas City, MO, USA
2003
Good Girl Art, Springfield, MO ,USA
Mind Games, Randy Bacon Photography, Springfield, MO, USA (solo)
Mind Games, Discovery Center of Springfield, Springfield, MO, USA (solo)

Public Collections

FAIF Collection, Zurich, Switzerland
Portland Art Museum, Portland, OR
Museum of Contemporary Photography, Midwest Photographers Project, Chicago, IL
University of Arkansas at Little Rock, AR
George Eastman House, Rochester, NY
Microsoft Art Collection, Redmond, WA
Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, MO
Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, MO
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX
Photographic Center Northwest, Seattle, WA
Toledo Museum of Art, Toledo, OH
Photographic Center Northwest, Seattle, WA