Review Santa Fe: Daniel W. Coburn

Over the next month, I will be sharing the work of photographers who attended Review Santa Fe in June.  Review Santa Fe is the only juried review in the United States and invites 100 photographers to Santa Fe for a long weekend of reviews, insights, and connections.  
When I first started writing about the genre of Photographing Family some years back, there were only a handful of image makers capturing the pathos of domestic interactions in a significant way.  Phillip Toledano, Doug DuBois, and Elizabeth Flemming, to name a few, brought a sensibility to telling stories that were at once personal, yet universal.  Photographer Daniel W. Coburn is following in those footsteps with his beautifully executed project, Next of Kin.  Daniel gives us a sense of place and of people. His proximity allows for an ability to be a participant observer where he is able to capture the intangible essence of family, interpreting those he loves with a lens that honors, explores, and understands.

Daniel received his BFA from Washburn University and is currently an instructor and graduate student at the University of New Mexico.  His work his held in public and private collections, and he has published and exhibited widely.
In Next of Kin I use craftsmanship and beauty to engage my viewer in
a dark family narrative.  After a
yearlong hiatus from my hometown, I returned to reexamine my relationship with
immediate family. I use the camera to describe the powerful personalities of my
parents, and the complexities of their relationship. I photograph the children
in my family to revisit my own childhood, which exists only as a set of
fleeting, enigmatic images in my aging memory.

 Next of Kin records the interaction of a working-class family living in Middle America, and the anxiety that occurs within the confines of suburban dystopia. The viewer is encouraged to contemplate the complexities of these relationships in dialogue with their own family experience. How the imagery functions in conversation with the viewers personal family narrative becomes paramount and its value is ultimately determined by its transformative potential.