Fine Art Photography Daily

Daniel W. Coburn: Domestic Reliquary

I featured Daniel W. Coburn‘s work last year on Lenscratch, but when I attended the SPE SW regional exhibition (Society of Photographic Educators) at the Center of Fine Art Photography in Colorado, I wasn’t expecting the direction his new work had taken.  It’s a departure from the images he created about his family, but in reality, it’s still very much about his family.  Daniel is about to open an exhibition on Friday night at the 5G Gallery in Albuquerque, NM  (and an artist’s lecture 2/8 from 5-8pm) and I’m thrilled to celebrate his work, achievements, and his place in the fine art photography community.

Daniel  lives and works in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He received his BFA with an emphasis in photography from Washburn University where he was the recipient of numerous honors including the Charles and Margaret Pollak Award. He is currently an instructor and graduate student studying photography at the University of New Mexico. His work has been featured in exhibitions at the Los Angeles Center for Digital Art and the Chelsea Museum of Art in New York. Coburn’s prints are held in many public and private collections including The Mulvane Museum of Art, The Albrecht-Kemper Museum of Art, The Mariana Kistler-Beach Museum of Art and the Moraine Park Museum. His writings and photographs appear regularly in regional and national publications including Fraction Magazine and Photo-Eye Magazine.
Domestic Reliquary 
In Domestic Reliquary I use appropriated imagery and iconography to explore my own dark family narrative. A complicated relationship with my family, and an immersive, cult-like experience with an evangelical Christian church resulted in my loss of spiritual and domestic faith. My work relates specifically to these personal struggles and explores the quiet suffering that occurs within the perimeter of a family unit living under the auspices of the ideal American dream.

I use the salted paper process to reproduce a series of found objects and photographs. This antiquated printing technique is linked directly to the domestic environment because it employs simple household chemicals that combine to make the printing paper light sensitive. The imperfections and technical artifacts of the process allow me to simultaneously deconstruct and repair the image. This method is cathartic and has become a metaphor for my own personal healing process. By working into each print using a variety of mixed media, I create a series of one-of-a-kind domestic artifacts.

This work explores concepts related to gender, loss of innocence, and the small tragedies that occur within the confines of suburban dystopia.  I correlate domestic to religious symbolism, reinterpreting objects and icons to create my own sacred visual vocabulary.

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