Isabel Magowan is an image-based artist who has completed extensive series on the formation of female identity, the psychology of family, how material culture expresses wealth and aspirational class, and the fantastic as a site for understanding. Her background as a ballet dancer and child performer manifests in her most staged and surrealistic work where themes of anxiety, vanity, insecurity, sexuality, and social expectation play out. She also works in the mediums of video and installation.
Magowan continues to publish and exhibit her work and shoot editorial assignments for clients like The New York Times, The New York Times Magazine, Time Magazine, The New Yorker, A+E Productions, and Cultured Magazine. She currently is a professor of photography at Rowan University. She is a graduate of Wesleyan (BA History) and Yale (MFA Photography) and is based in Center City Philadelphia, where she lives with her husband and daughter.
“Isabel Magowan’s pictures offer a particular view into a life of American privilege, but with an ironic, sardonic twist. Executed with technical perfection, she explores themes of self image and worth, and moments of inner clarity and subtle darkness. These heightened, saturated photographs effortlessly blur melodrama with moments of true intimacy.” -Gregory Crewdson
“In a world where everything is meant to look perfect on the outside, Magowan searches for the imperfections that subvert the projected ideal.” –Capricious magazine