Charlie Engman - On Context

Gem Fletcher chats to Charlie Engman. Charlie originally trained as a movement artist as well as studying Japanese and Korean Studies before arriving at photography as a form of visual notation. Now working between commercial and fine art, he is focused on pushing the scope and visual possibility of the world around him. His first monograph, MOM, a collection of images of his mother made over the course of a decade, was recently published and explores ideas of categories, roles, power dynamics, performativity, the expectations and codes of society as well as the relationship they share as collaborators and mother and son. 

In this episode we talk about the dynamics in photography, the role of context and positionality, performativity and so much more. 


Charlie’s commissioned work has appeared in publications such as AnOther Magazine, Dazed, Garage, POP, T: The New York Times Style Magazine, Unemployed, and American Vogue and has been used by clients such as Prada, Marni, Adidas, Hermès, Kenzo, Nike, Opening Ceremony, Pucci, Sonia Rykiel, Stella McCartney, and Vivienne Westwood. Charlie has expanded his talents to both styling and design, most recently collaborating with Collina Strada Resort on the design for the 2020 collection. His first monograph, MOM, a collection of images of his mother made over the course of more than a decade, will be published by Edition Patrick Frey in Spring 2020. This body of work was also exhibited as a solo show at Scrap Metal, Toronto. Charlie is based in Brooklyn, New York.


Follow Charlie on Instagram @charlieengman on Instagram and visit to see his work. Follow Gem @gemfletcher on Instagram. If you've enjoyed this episode PLEASE leave us your feedback and maybe 5 stars if we're worthy in the Apple Podcast store. Thank you for listening to The Messy Truth, we will be back very soon. For all requests, please email

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