Isabel Magowan is an image-based artist known for her extensive series exploring female identity, family psychology, and material culture’s portrayal of wealth and class aspirations. Her background as a ballet dancer and child performer informs her work, where she creates worlds with characters and surrogates, including herself. Magowan heightens reality through the use of theatrical lighting and color, pushing narratives to the boundaries of logic. Themes of anxiety, vanity, insecurity, sexuality, and societal expectation play prominently in her creation, which includes video and installation art.

Magowan maintains an active presence through publication, exhibition, and editorial work. Past clients of note include The New York Times, The New York Times Magazine, Time Magazine, The New Yorker, A+E Productions, and Cultured Magazine. She is a photography professor at Rowan University, holds degrees from Wesleyan University (BA in History) and Yale University (MFA in Photography) and resides in Center City Philadelphia with her husband, daughter, and Bedlington terrier. 

“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