francesca Woodman is from the Robert Mapplethorpe and Erwin Olaf generation of photographers, but her approach is totally different. This is not so much a form of staged photography , but more a search… a search for the surreal. This is the photographer who impressed me so much some 20 years ago that i started take an interest in photography by the artist of her generation.
One of her most impiortant photographs is one which was taken at a very young age. At the age of 13 she took the photograph below. A selfportrait while turning her head away from the lens.
Francesca Woodman produced universally commanding and profound images from the age of thirteen. Born into a family of artists, ‘art’ was her first language. She experienced early exposure to a plethora of exemplary creative people along with countless potential historical, literary, and theoretical influences. Woodman worked with traditional photographic techniques but was consistently performative and experimental in her practice. Many of her works are multi-media, including drawings, selected objects, and sculptures within her photographs. Settings may vary from confined interiors to the expansive outdoors, but Woodman herself is always there. Typically the sole subject, and often naked, she can be found caught entwined within a landscape or edging out of the photographic frame. Interested in the limits of representation, the artist’s body is habitually cropped, endlessly concealed, and never wholly captured. Woodman was acutely aware of the evanescent nature of life and of living close to death. She positions the self as too limitless to be contained, and thus reveals singular identity as an elusive and fragmentary notion.
www.ftn-books.com has the very rare PHOTOGRAPHIES book for sale.