Art, Events January 19, 2011 By Sarah Coleman

What drew you to Francesca Woodman’s work?
I met George and Betty Woodman at a party, before I knew of their work or Francesca’s. I made a gaffe: my daughter had studied photography at RISD, and I asked if she could call up Francesca. I’m just terrible in those situations: I hate being the source of emotional upset for anyone. But Betty and George were really generous in talking to me about Francesca’s life and work. It’s a tough subject for them to broach, and in a way my awkwardness opened the door for them to do that. I was riveted by them and their story before I even saw Francesca’s work–and then when I saw the work, I just found the photographs so vivid and beautiful and luminous.

What are some of your favorite images of hers?
She has some extraordinarily iconic images. There are images I like for different reasons. One is the image of a woman hanging from a doorway with her legs to one side. It was taken in Italy, and it’s such a strong image. It plays off Renaissance crucifixion images, it tricks you into thinking there’s something sinister going on until you look closer. Another one I like is one of a series, it shows Francesca half-hidden behind wallpaper in Providence, it’s remarkable. That whole series is very strong. You always think of what Francesca would be doing if she were still alive, and I tend to think she’d be making films. She had a wonderful sense of sequence.

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