Skip to main content

Vivian and Francesca: The invisible artists

Left: Francesca Woodman; Right: Vivian Maier

I write this piece on photography with much trepidation because honestly, I don’t know much about photography nor photographers. But on this World Photography Day, as I come across the name and fame of a dozen iconic photographers, my favourite two women has been amiss. Vivian Maier and Francesca Woodman, the invisible artists.




Vivian Maier

Working as a nanny between the nineteen-fifties to the seventies; three children in tow and armed with a Rollieflex camera, Vivian captured life at its best and worst. Intensely private, the mystery behind Finding Vivian Maier is as fascinating as the woman’s body of work. With a collection that runs into thousands, Maier's work was discovered by accident in a pawn shop by a real-estate agent as late as 2009; a few days after she had passed away.


There’s no disputing the fact that Maier was peculiar and prickly; her shots range from morbid to benign; rape, murder, urban blight and poverty. Compared to her chosen profession of a nanny, her artistic propensity reveals a woman of bipolar layers. It was like she was everywhere but never there.
For an exhaustive collection of her work go to: www.vivianmaier.com

Francesca Woodman

It's almost bleak. But, but, but, that amazing rectangular ray of sunshine





































One misunderstood photographer (just google her and you will see why), Francesca Woodman’s photos has always moved me in peculiar ways. Funny, artful, neurotic and occasionally painfully honest; it is sad that Woodman too received all her accolades posthumously.

Unlike a lot of critics who have psychoanalyzed her body of work through the prism of her suicide (at the tender age of 22) I have always found the two subjects completely non-linear. While it is true that a lot of her pictures have an uncanny kookiness, a ghost-like apparition of someone disappearing; I’ve always found suggestive hints of seductive decay. Somewhat depressive but never suicidal.

While not exactly exhaustive, find more works of Francesca Woodman at http://www.artnet.com/artists/francesca-woodman/


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Portrait of a criminal as a young thug

He is five feet and eleven inches tall, hundred and three kgs heavy, with sweaty arms and a glistening moustache, shoulder length black hair oiled and tied into a small ponytail. He has a wild demeanour and suspicious eyes.

Rude Awakening Series: You might find it offensive. But so is the world around us.

It has been one year and nine months since my last entry. A lot has happened since. The dude who used to say “You’re fired” on reality television is now the very real President of United States of A, Delhi beat Beijing to become the most polluted city in the world by a chest-thumping margin, the planet regardless of our skeptical opinions has continued to become warmer - putting the birds and bees out of business. On the other hand, some things haven’t changed. North Korea is still batshit ballistic, China ghost towns are at best dead, Japan is LOCO but still zen, fortunes (as usual) have waxed and waned to the changing tides of tax reforms, share prices and demonetisation.

If there is a hidden lesson over the months that I have learnt, it is this - nothing changes or gets better in this world unless we act (as opposed to react) upon it. And it is with this foolhardy notion that I once again set about to write; to abuse, to anger, with a direct intent to offend the blogosphere. Becau…

Project Other Names: A Collection of Fictional Characters

An exercise to explore the different vibes of names used in a story and their relationship with the plot. Captured in a fleeting undefined moment.


Here's also a random picture in case you reached here by accident and find the contents of the page a tad too silly for your time.
The task of assigning names to characters in stories has always been a bit confusing for me. Either they are too eccentric or misplaced, misdirected or just feel like a mouthful. With this exercise I hope I get more comfortable with naming. Okay. Amuse yourself.

#1

“Mutuality isn’t the least bit important in marriage, Ajay. It counts only in romance.”

Ajay gave his pretty paramour a long look. Did she believe this stuff? Or was she playing some deep female game? He knew he would not marry her. He was proud of her, and he enjoyed her company, but she wasn’t what he had in mind for a lifetime partner.


#2

Ankita was all As, in the eleventh grade, an active member of a number of academic clubs and excused …