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SVA Alumnus Justine Kurland Featured in 'The New Yorker'

From The New Yorker: “Casper was born at home, twelve years ago. During labor, I crawled back and forth across the floor on my hands and knees. If I moved fast enough, I might dodge the steel-toed kick of the contractions against my cervix. Some small relief came from leaning out of a window into the cool night air; I would bellow, walrus-like, much to the surprise of the pedestrians below, before hands pulled me back inside. When he crowned, I remember placing my fingers on the wet fur of Casper’s head, and saying, 'I love you, baby,' to his half-submerged form. A photograph shows his upside-down head, white with vernix, and with a single teardrop of blood rolling down one cheek, sticking out from between my legs.

The decade prior had been spent travelling across America in search of subjects to photograph. I had built my work and my life on the road, and, now that I was a mother, I had no idea how to continue living as an artist. But I figured things would work out somehow, if I could just get us out there. I equipped my van with all the props of domesticity, and we split. Later, when Casper could talk, he dubbed the van the 'Mama Car.'

We crossed the country many, many times. Our migrations followed the weather, so that the barefoot pleasures of summer could extend as long as possible into the winter months. We climbed rocks in the desert and trees in the forest, built forts out of sticks, and spiced our mud pies with pine needles. A bump in the road would jostle an assortment of glass jars, spilling insect specimens onto the floor of the van…” (For the full story and a photo slideshow, click here)

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