Artist of the Week – Francesca Woodman

Francesca Woodman was an artist who took her suffering and used it for her artwork. She spent her life depressed and suffered until she died, sadly very young. She had two attempts of suicide and the second was successful.

Her interest in photography began in school and she pursued that interest in design school late in her life. Her photography was focused on portraying sadness and emotions of struggle. She used black and white photographs to further emphasize those emotions. She usually was the subject of her own photographs and many times she was naked. Although, she was not wearing clothes, her exposing herself did not mean to be taken in a sexual way. She was exposing her pure self; her soul. Besides using black and white photographs, she used other things such as blurriness to emphasize her point of view.

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The photograph above is one of her most famous works of art. She photographed herself hanging in a doorway. What makes it really interesting is that artists afterwards took that photograph and interpreted it. Thirty years after Francesca took that photograph, Maurizio Cattelan was inspired by that art and made a sculpture. That sculpture would be places in a crate, to be transported to another museum. Cattelan, another artist, decided to display the sculpture as it was placed in the crate. Doing so changed the message of the piece. Later on Vanessa Blaylock was inspired by the sculpture in the crate and created a 3D rendered model of it.

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Although, now we pay more attention to her art, while she was alive, Francesca did not get as much attention. That contributed to her depression and eventually to her suicide. It is sad to see that her passion was not appreciated and at the end lead to her death.

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