Fotograf Magazine

Julie Cockburn

The Stepford Wives

The UK artist Julie Cockburn is not a photographer, but works with photography as the basic foundation of her art. A regular visitor to junk shops, garage sales and flea markets, she buys old photographs, picture postcards and even paintings. Her main interest is portraiture, but neither does she entirely avoid landscape, architecture or still-lifes. She is above all interested in historical portraits and pictures of beautiful young women – university graduates from academic yearbooks, stylized images of actresses and other forgotten stars, rich society ladies, but also upper-class housewives or ordinary young girls. Another area she concentrates on are portraits of children; only rarely does she work with pictures of men. It could therefore be said that the very essence of her creative process is the artist’s passion as a collector. Where a regular collector would stop, however, and enshrine their precious finds within the safety of their growing collection, Julie Cockburn embarks on a process of metamorphosis which demonstrates her own creative gesture. The artist herself describes her method as “having a conversation with the image… perhaps adding what seems to be hidden there or missing, unspoken. I often feel that the original image were somehow waiting for me to complete them in this way.“

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#23 artificial worlds