Susan Copich is a mom who lives in upstate New York. She is also an actress, dancer, pilates instructor and photographer. So, four years ago, when she reached what might be described as a bit of a mid-life crisis, she decided to channel her feelings into a photography project.
“Having been a performer (dancer, actress) most of my life, then a camera carrying helicopter-mother, constantly snapping pictures of my family, one day my agent stopped calling, my babies grew up to be kids with their own opinions and attitudes, my marriage no longer felt shiny and new and I felt middle aged – irrelevant,” she writes on her site, describing the experience that led to her photo exhibition Domestic Bliss. “I also realized I was missing from every family photo.”
The exhibit was on display for most of November at the Umbrella Arts gallery in New York City’s East Village. And the striking images portray a hilariously twisted view of family life from a mom’s point of view that will probably appear all-too-familiar to moms everywhere — whether they’ll admit it or not.
Or are these “family photos” just disturbing? We’ll leave that to you to decide.
Unlike, for example, the photos found on the infamous and endlessly amusing Awkward Family Photos site, Copich’s photos are not impromptu snapshots scanned out of old family albums. But does that make them any less “real?”
Copich says that the photos in Domestic Bliss reflect her inner fears, frustrations, desires and anxieties rather than her actual family life. If you met her, she says, you would never guess that these are the images running through her head — and surely that’s true of all of us. But being an artist, Copich has put those images into the real world.
“If you’ve met me, I have a very seemingly sunny disposition, but I have a whole interior world where at different times I’ve felt depression and angst. For many years, I put it in a little ball, and I decided to just explore it this time. It’s been so fun to bring those feelings out and give them light.”
What follows is a sample of the photos that appeared in the mom-of-two’s Domestic Bliss exhibit. She says her two daughters, ages 12 and 8, have “back pocket full of pride” at the finished product.
What do you think? Do you relate to Susan Copich and her off-kilter view of “domestic bliss?” Or do you simply find these images unsettling?
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