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Francesca Woodman (American, 1958-1981)


Francesca Woodman is an American contemporary photographer. She was born in 1958 in Denver, CO and her work is considered contemporary. Woodman grew up in a Jewish and Protestant background and attended RISD(Rhode Island School of Design) in 1977. During her time there, she spent 2 years abroad studying in Italy getting to know Italian artisans and intellectuals.

Most of Woodman's art is actually in the self portrait style and remains unnamed. Starting at a young age she began photographing herself, her first famous photo self-image at the age of thirteen portrays herself on a bench with her hair covering her face. Her photography style always revolved heavily around self-denial. Though she appears in most of her photographs, covering her face or appearing completely nude are trends she accentuated in her work.

The work itself can also be considered very sexual in nature, not just because of the nudity but also the poses she chooses in most of them. Body language is central to her art, as well as the medium of photography she chooses which is white and black. Her pictures may seem to lack color but it makes the visuals all the more powerful; there is nothing to distract your attention from the subject of the photograph.

In 1981 Woodman committed suicide in New York City by jumping out of a loft window. Woodman's parents are the managers of her estate and her photography is now represented by the Marian Goodman Gallery in New York City.

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