Short bio: DanFarnum was born in the blue-collar town of Saginaw, Michigan. His photographs have been showcased nationally in several exhibitions and galleries such as Alibi Fine Art in Chicago, Daniel Cooney Fine Art in New York, and at the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design. Dan received his MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute and BFA from the University of Michigan. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Photography at The University of Tulsa.
Why do you photograph on film? primarily photograph with a view camera due to the high level of clarity that is captured with 4×5 inch film. My artwork deals with challenging class stereotypes and I feel that it is vital to clearly see individual features in my portraits. Large format film also retains a visual richness at large print sizes, which helps bring viewers of my work closer to the experience of my subjects. Additionally, the slow nature of shooting with a large format camera allows me to talk with my subjects to learn more about their lives.
What is your work about? Drawing inspiration from S.E. Hinton’s literary characterizations of teenagers and young adults in Tulsa, my documentary project called Rumbleville captures a contemporary depiction of childhood maturation in the same locations used in books and movies such as The Outsiders and Rumble Fish. Larry Clark and Gaylord Herron also created iconic images that were located in the same communities. All of these coming-of age-stories were created several decades ago, but the social implications evident in the work still largely define the region. Rumbleville fluctuates between past and present-day economic challenges evident in the city’s nostalgic identity. These neighborhoods in Tulsa are romanticized for their stories of greasers, bikers, and reckless youth. These places are also isolated from the rest of the city and still face parallel adversities related to class and racial divisions. I am interested in how these locations shape the identity of the kids and young adults who happen to live in these neighborhoods that are also layered with history, nostalgia, and cult-classic fantasy.