Yossi Milo Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of hand-altered photographs by British artist Julie Cockburn. Entitled Slight Exposure, the exhibition will open on Thursday, December 12, 2013, and close on Saturday, January 25, 2014, with a reception for the artist on Thursday, December 12 from 6:00 to 8:00 pm. Signed copies of Cockburn’s monograph Conversations (2012), published by Tycoon Books, will be available. This is the artist’s first solo exhibition in the United States.
Julie Cockburn transforms second-hand objects and vintage photographs into meticulously constructed, psychologically charged artworks, by using a mix of embroidery and collage techniques. Cockburn scours garage sales and the internet for high school yearbook portraits, Hollywood headshots, family mementos and landscapes. The artist then methodically “embellishes, manipulates, tortures and caresses” the surface of the found photograph, adding her visual authorship to the object.
Trained as a sculptor, Cockburn approaches the photograph as if working with a three- dimensional surface. The artist embroiders the print with brightly colored thread to emphasize a landscape or to mask portions of a subject’s face. For collage works, Cockburn cuts shapes from the print and rearranges them into intricate and repeating patterns that enhance the identity of the sitter and negate the “archetypal ordinariness” of the original photograph. The artist thus alters an otherwise static image, adding a touch of the surreal and suggesting a new narrative of the portrait or landscape. These multi-layered meanings are further reinforced by evocative titles such as Posh Eccentric, Teenage Angst and The Worrier.
Cockburn states that her often long and laborious process is like “having a conversation with the image...perhaps adding what seems to be hidden there or missing, unspoken. I often feel that the original images were somehow waiting for me to complete them in this way.” Through this process of destruction and reconstruction, Cockburn creates work that project new histories onto forgotten keepsakes of the past.
Julie Cockburn has exhibited her work throughout the United Kingdom and Europe. The artist received a B.A. in sculpture from the Central St. Martins College of Art and Design, London and studied at Chelsea College of Art, London. The artist was born in 1966 in London, England where she currently lives and works.