Published on Vice News on June 7, 2017. Read the full article here.
From Edie Segwick to @RichKidsOfInstagram and the Kardashian-Jenner clan, upper-crust unease has long had a chokehold on America’s collective consciousness. Isabel Magowan isn’t attracted to the sinister side of privileged life because it’s wholly unfamiliar. The Manhattan-raised photographer spent her formative years as a child performer before turning her camera on the beautiful people she was raised amongst. In fact some of the Yale MFA grad’s most compelling images feature people she knows in real life.
Magowan’s first solo show, Dress Rehearsal, explores the performance and ritual of fanciful adolescence — and questions what happens when it’s time for real life to start. What comes after the pageant makeup and pointe shoes when you realize you’ve been rehearsing for something you don’t want? It was similar considerations — and a string of hip surgeries — that turned a then-teenage Magowan to photography. “When I quit, I definitely felt at odds because I’m not an academic, I didn’t make art,” she told i-D back in 2015. “I just felt like this really weird, eccentric person without some sort of talent or avenue to express myself.”