Podcast: All in the Family, with Julie Blackmon, and a New Normal for Photo Galleries


We present a fun and insightful conversation on this week’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, perhaps due to the Midwestern charm of photographer Julie Blackmon and the enjoyable discussion of her wonderful tableaux vivants of family life in middle America. We also welcome back to the show gallery owner Robert Mann, who is currently hosting an exhibit of Blackmon’s photographs titled Talent Show. Mann was a guest on our show, in 2018, when we spoke about the work of Australian photographer Murray Fredericks.

The medium format compositions of Julie Blackmon infuse innocent playtime with a creeping sense of danger to create works with a wonderful dark humor. There is also a welcome DIY spirit to her work, and we talk about the creation of her photos and the involvement of her own family and friends in the images; even photos that have up to twenty-five subjects are produced and organized with her sisters and fellow parents.  She is hands-on in all aspects of the work, including making the large prints herself. We also talk about her use of the Hasselblad H system and how she combines wide angle and normal perspectives in her detailed final prints.

After a break, Robert Mann takes the lion’s share of the questions as we discuss the many challenges faced by photography galleries. In addition to the expense of a brick and mortar gallery and the proliferation of online viewing and sales, the COVID-19 pandemic has forever changed the idea of a public art gallery.  Mann relates the decision to close his Chelsea gallery and receive collectors on a by-appointment basis, as well as his thoughts on creating editions and limiting prints and the general state of the fine art photo market.

Join us for this enlightening four-way conversation as we gain insight from the perspective of the artist and the gallerist.

Guests: Julie Blackmon and Robert Mann

Photograph © Julie Blackmon

River, 2020 © Julie Blackmon, Courtesy Robert Mann Gallery
Baby Toss, 2009 © Julie Blackmon, Courtesy Robert Mann Gallery
Stock Tank, 2012 © Julie Blackmon, Courtesy Robert Mann Gallery
Talent Show, 2019 © Julie Blackmon, Courtesy Robert Mann Gallery
Outing, 2019 © Julie Blackmon, Courtesy Robert Mann Gallery
Spray Paint, 2020 © Julie Blackmon, Courtesy Robert Mann Gallery

Host: Allan Weitz
Senior Creative Producer: John Harris
Senior Producer: Jason Tables
Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves