Justine Kurland is a fine art photographer, based in New York. She graduated from Yale University in 1998 with a Master of Fine Arts degree, after studying with Gregory Crewdson and Philip Lorca di Corcia. Kurland first gained public notice with her work in the group show Another Girl, Another Planet (1999), which displayed her large c-print staged tableau pictures of neo-romantic landscapes inhabited by young adolescent girls, half-sprites, half juvenile delinquents.
As landscapes she chose the ‘secret places’ of late childhood; wasteland on the edges of suburbia, ‘owned’ only by a feral nature and unsupervised children. Her limited-edition book Spirit West (2000) featured similar work on a more ambitious scale.
In her show Community, Skyblue (2002), Kurland turned to documenting the utopian communes of Virginia and California, highlighting the unworldly aspirations of the communards by having them appear naked in her pictures and showing them as only distant figures in their landscape. In 2003 she had European solo shows Golden Dawn (London) and Welcome Home (Vienna), based around these series of commune images.
Her latest book, Old Joy (2004) turns to men. She shows visionaries trekking naked into the wilderness, where they undergo spiritual experiences. In her 2004 show Songs of Experience she explored medieval and Biblical imagery. In 2005 she had a solo show in Japan.