Daniel Farnum

Growing Up



Daniel Farnum
Growing Up



Newspace Instructors Show


June 1st – July 1st 2012

Opening Reception: Friday, June 1st 6-9pm
Come meet the Newspace instructors and see their photographs.  Register for a class during the opening and receive a 15% discount!


Daniel Farnum was born in the blue-collar town of Saginaw, Michigan. His photographs address the American experience, landscape, and culture and have been showcased nationally in several exhibitions and galleries in San Francisco, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, and New York.

He is the recipient of many notable awards such as the Aperture Award from The Print Center in Philadelphia, two prizes from the Paul Sack Architectural Photography Contest, Grand Prize Winner of the Missouri Top 50 contest, and the Juror’s Selection Award given by Christopher Rauschenberg at the Center for Fine Art Photography. Dan recently received an award in a show titled Landscape Interrupted by William Jenkins, who was responsible for the New Topographics exhibition while curator of the International Museum of Photography at the George Eastman House.

Daniel received his MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute and BFA from the University of Michigan. He is currently a professor of photography at the University of Missouri.

[Visit his Website]


About the Work:

The recognition of adulthood is connected to the acceptance that childhood has slipped into the past. Memories from the places where we searched for maturity and independence are the residue that is left behind. The interplay between immediate experience and adult recollection of these spaces is where I search for the understanding of adulthood.


As children develop they move farther and farther from home and into secluded places such as schoolyards, suburban streets, trails, and empty lots adjacent to neighborhoods. These locations are where children walk home from school, ride dirt bikes, smoke cigarettes, and act out the fantasy of adulthood.  The fragility of youth is also exposed in these spaces. The absence of supervision, naive experimentation, and the threat of injury and abductions create an environment filled with uncertainty and the dangers of the unknown. This scenario parallels the psychological transition that people endure in their pursuit of maturity.


As an adult, my search for clarity and the understanding of maturity continues through the recollection of childhood memories and the expectations of what it means to be a grown up. My father passed away when I was a teenager. This event and his resulting absence propelled me into adulthood, thus impacting my recollection of childhood. The loss of my father allows me to recognize the lingering memories of adolescence that reside in the spaces where I attempted to shed my youth. The distance between memory and immediate experience is obscured. This transitory space is where I collect fragments that evoke the universal sensation of becoming an adult.