Julie Blackmon, (2005)

I don't drink much but had a glass of red wine the last evening or two, with a splash of water to soften and smooth the heavy oomph, and remembering the song 'Water With The Wine'. It was very pleasant, a warm August evening, with the breeze blowing in and reggae re-mixed album spacemonkeys versus gorillaz playing, it was like all the decades folding into one in a soft and smooth way - but the white throw on the sofa and the white ikea table always seem at risk.

I like Julie Blackmon's photographs, a whole lot.  She's in my top five. I don't know quite how she got there but she sneaked in while various reservations I would expect to have were asleep, drunk probably, on red wine.  But now she's there, it's not like there's a crowd of other contenders barging her out the way, and that's despite reading collectordaily every day to see what's going on.

Kelli Connell did a book of pictures a few years ago where one figure was duplicated to create the illusion of a relationship, but it's not a strategy I thought Blackmon used, but it does look very similar here. Maybe they are identical twins.  The red and white (and brown) palette looks stunning, as is the light, which must have been intense and coming from various directions, probably with big reflectors, the tungsten bulb on the upper left is very faint in comparison.  It looks like a bit of heavy handed product placement going on, assuming this is not an advertising shot (it was released as a limited edition so I'd have thought not) but the packaging at least places it as fairly contemporary, otherwise it could have been overly retro looking.  I like the fact the subject is not model-beautiful but looks real, an everyday person, the woman next door, with a nice figure but not magazine skinny.  The frame within the frame of the oddly turned mirror works, without calling too much attention to itself as a device (I think). There are a lot of nice shapes and angles and enough to make it real rather than a set - looking at the tangle under the sink suggests enough. The little dye mark on the back of the neck is the only thing that I'm not sure of - it may be absolutely essential, or else spoils it, I'm not really sure which.  If it is clumsy it's only because there is a sense that it's there so that when guests come around to the house and see this print on the wall they can point at it after ten seconds and say something, while holding a glass of wine.