Thursday, June 16, 2011

Chaos a la Jan Steen & Julie Blackmon

photo by Julie Blackmon

Jan Steen was a Dutch painter in the 17th century. He painted chaotic domestic scenes that led to the development of a proverb called the "Jan Steen Household". A Jan Steen Household is one that is disorderly and messy. During his lifetime, he painted about 800 paintings, but less than half of them survive today.

Julie Blackmon is a photographer who is inspired by the concept of a Jan Steen Household. The images she takes is somewhat autobiographical, as they're mostly images of her family and extended family. Blackmon's artist statement creates a cause for finding identity in today's world, something that wasn't as important in Steen's time.
What's interesting to think about is that Steen would never have imagined how his work might've inspired someone 400 years later, especially using a technology that wasn't invented in his lifetime. You can learn more about Jan Steen here and Julie Blackmon at her website.

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