Sunday 19 January 2014


Francesca Woodman (April 3, 1958 – January 19, 1981) 
Was an american photographer born in a family of artists, she started taking pictures at the sweet age of 11, enrolled in the Rhode Island School of Design and lived in Italy for a year where she became hugely inspired. She returned to live in NYC, where she worked as an assistant to fashion photographers, while continuing to develop her personal and prolific body of work. 

Even though she tragically decided to end her life at the age of 22 (exactly 33 years ago this week), she left behind a very mature and insightful photographic legacy. Her most notable pieces are her self-portraits.

The first time I came in direct contact with Francesca Woodman's work, it was at the exhibit at the Guggenheim, a couple of years ago. These beautiful huge blueprints were my absolute favorite in the whole show, in them you can see the influence of the Italian renaissance art had on her.
“Caryatid” (1980). Credit: Courtesy George and Betty Woodman


The thing I like the most about her work is how mature it was for her age. Her photographs had a certain naive yet bold character that made them unique and absolutely personal. They are a reflection of that time in life, between childhood and adult life. That brief period when you are for the first time in real contact with true yourself, discovering who you are, and exploring your limits.

If you want to know and see more of her work, here the article in The New York Times and about the Guggenheim exhibit that I was lucky to visit; the official Guggenheim video about the exhibit called Through the Lens of Francesca Woodman that examines the relation between the still and moving image in Francesca Woodman's and other artists' production during the 1970s, particularly as associated with Post-Minimalism, performance, and video; and finally the  trailer of a documentary about her family entitled The Woodmans, describe as  an inspiring portrait of one family's fall and redemption in the often brutal world of art.


The PhotoAutomat section is edited by the Brooklyn-based photographer Andreína Restrepo.    


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