Quiet suffering occurs within a family unit living under the auspices of the ideal American Dream. Daniel Coburn's photographs explore the dark undercurrents of his own family history. However, these lyrical, poetic, and sometimes mysterious images present a set of characters that become icons of a universal human experience. He uses portraiture, landscape, and still-life images as metaphor to describe a people that exist at the intersection of domestic duress and spirituality.
This drama is born in a single-family home and unfolds onto a Midwest landscape. These photographs capture the essence of those that have suffered the banality and tragedy of domestic life. He photographs his family in parables of love, reverie, respect and quite tragedy. The children in his images symbolize the enigmatic nature of childhood. They represent ghosts, apparitions, and the remnants of lost innocence.
These images are a tangible manifestation of fantasy, memories and experiences Coburn acquired during his journey to adulthood, and function as a supplement to the broken family album that exists in many family archives.
Coburn's prints are held in collections at the Museum of Contemporary Photography (Chicago), the University of New Mexico Art Museum, the Mulvane Museum of Art, the Albrecht-Kemper Museum of Art, and the Mariana Kistler-Beach Museum of Art. He has lectured at the International Festival of Photography in Belo Horizonte, Brazil and the Helsinki Photo-Media Conference. Coburn received his MFA with distinction from the University of New Mexico in 2013. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Photo Media at the University of Kansas.