Since Susan Copich's first exhibit of "Domestic Bliss" in 2014 (Umbrella Gallery, NYC), her photographs rapidly travelled over the internet generating tremendous response. Images from the exhibit flashed across countless computer screens worldwide. The elegant scenes depicting suburban privilege are at first glance banalities often found in lifestyle magazines. Like advertisements for an ideal life, the photographic quality and composition mimics a marketing illusion. However, the carefully composed veneer is part of Copich's message: a fur coat, a swimming pool, an elegant dining room with picture windows, a dream kitchen are all a staged set prepared for actors posed in a "tableau vivant”. But the challenging gaze of the photograph's female protagonist demands closer examination revealing darker ironies: the pain of parenting, the cruelty of intimacy, the ache of ambivalence, the recklessness of desire, and ultimately the loss of illusion. To engage with these photographs in a gallery, and not through the Internet, is the best way to understand the irony of Ms. Copich's storytelling. "Domestic Bliss" is a mirage as the moment is imagined while the story-line continues to roll past the stills. The pretty blonde woman staring out at the viewer, is the only moral compass that is constant throughout the photo series. She challenges us to experience the discomfort of the tableau and dares us to recoil from the scene. She presents the taboos of our society and acts as the silent narrator of a morality play frozen by the camera's eye. The over arching lie of Susan Copich's "Domestic Bliss" tells a harsh truth by peeling back the veneer of civilization to reveal the danger of denial.
Susan Copich writes about her work: “I dwell in the dark thoughts and recesses of my mind to create character and subject...(and) navigate both my own personal imperatives as woman, artist, mother and wife, as well as those – personal, social, and cultural -that are imposed by
others. My work is my commentary on how a family can live a public life that is far from their private life, even within the family; how secrets are kept, coddled and nurtured"
About Susan Copich:
Since graduating Ohio State University (BFA, 1991), Susan Copich has had professional careers as a modern dancer, teacher and actress. Looking to explore new forms of art and self-expression, Copich returned to academia at New York City’s International Center of Photography. While at ICP, Ms.Copich began laying the mental framework for what would become her photographic series "Domestic Bliss".The series gives voice to Copich’s inner “darkness” while examining family life in a humorous context. Like many celebrated contemporary artists, Copich’s art rarely inspires a moderate response. Copich's journey to explore universal truths are celebrated by some and shunned by others. Susan Copich lives in Upstate, NY where she resides with her husband and two daughters.
More information about the artist can be found:
Artist's website: http://susancopich.com
Media reviews/Interviews (selected):
Daily Mail: http://bit.ly/ccascop1
Huffington Post: http://bit.ly/ccascop4
Beautiful Decay: http://bit.ly/ccascop7