The Other Art Fair is delighted to include Isabel Magowan in the upcoming Brooklyn Fair. Magowan’s photographs explore youth and adolescence examining the real versus the imagined. Bright colors and nostalgic imagery initially appear innocent and enticing before the viewer notices the more ominous narrative.
Isabel Magowan is a Brooklyn based Artist. She attended Wesleyan University for a BA in History before going on to Yale to receive an MFA in Photography. While studying at Yale, she was interested in exploring how time-based media and installation could communicate in alternative ways and began using video as a complimentary method to her still photography. As a ballet dancer and child performer, Isabel’s exposure to the stage has influenced her perspective on class and materialism as she looks to themes such as fantasy, vanity, and escapism. Rather than making work that informs these concepts, she builds upon ironies that instead in fact disrupt the larger narrative. We had the chance to ask Isabel a few questions about her work and practice.
Can you tell us a bit about your process and how you plan your shoots?
The method is always changing. Some shoots are impromptu, happenstance or luck. Some begin with a kernel of an idea, while others start with an intention. I don’t work serially. Instead, I will cull through thousands of images in the hopes that reverse engineering will somehow lead to a broader meaning and a reflection of myself. The work ends up being a mixture of approaches, documentarian, collaborative, semi-staged, film, digital, subverted intentions. I have the desire to be surprised by my work. At times this means that imagery that may come across as having been pre-planned is sometimes the image that is the purest in terms of observation. Similarly, the planned images I intend to make always are turned on their heads the moment I arrive onto a location, meet a subject, begin to connect with them and become distracted.