Twisted “Domestic Bliss” Series Challenges Attitudes Towards Women and Family Life

by Marissa Dubecky


Joining the growing list of women who are rawly presenting their personal experiences through art, Susan Copich is shocking viewers with her dark and daring portraiture series “Domestic Bliss,” recently displayed in NYC.


Copich is a mother, performer, and photographer living in Upstate New York whose style can be linked to Cindy Sherman and Laurie Simmons. Like these leading ladies, Copich’s work challenges its audiences to reconsider social representations of women. Her series illustrates the reality of multifaceted women by exaggerating the ugly, imperfect thoughts that surface, but are quickly hidden with an expected smile.


 Copyright © by Artist Susan Copich

 Copich tells Slate “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.”


At first glance, some images are simply classic family scenes, such as a shot of a perfectly set dinner table or kids playing around a pool. On the other hand, after looking closer, one notices a child holding a gun or a noose hanging limply in the corner. Because charged images like these bring up so much for a viewer on their own, the audience can’t help but attach strong emotions to Copich’s work. The twists in these photos are initially subtle, but once recognized, become ultimately horrifying. This is where Copich believes the humor lies.


Copyright © by Artist Susan Copich

Each image I create is a true reflection of me—not necessarily the content, but the actual slow burn experience,” she said to Slate. “I think this is what I am most proud of, that when people experience my work there is a layered reaction and journey and if you give it time all these layers of emotion and character and conflict are revealed and not just the rich underbelly stuff, but the initial reaction of laughter, shock and commercialism that first appear—it is all me.”

Like Gillian Flynn’s bestselling Gone Girl, a novel turned blockbuster film in which female protagonist Amy Dunne (spoiler alert!) plays a psychopath, Copich’s work encourages its viewers to recognize the complexity of a woman’s psyche and the potential for a dark side. As these types of representations grow in popularity, women gain ground as individuals rather than archetypes. They are mothers, they are lovers, they are depressed, they are sexual, and undoubtedly they are angry. They aren’t one thing or the other, and they are going to represent themselves wholly and honestly.


See the rest of Susan Copich’s series on



All Artworks are Copyright © by Artist Susan Copich and may not be copied, linked to, distributed, downloaded, modified, reused, reposited, reproduced or otherwise used without express written permission.

You may also like

Get the print magazine.

The best of BUST in your inbox!

Subscribe to Our Weekly Newsletter

About Us

Founded in 1993, BUST is the inclusive feminist lifestyle trailblazer offering a unique mix of humor, female-focused entertainment, uncensored personal stories, and candid reporting that tells the truth about women’s lives.

©2023 Street Media LLC.  All Right Reserved.