I met Francesca Woodman as a fellow photo student in 1976. She was the real deal. She lived her art. She looked like her art. She had the vocabulary of art. Her images each week, which are some of the most famous images of her brief career, BLEW me away.
Francesca’s intensity was palpable. It scared me. I had never met anyone who could so clearly reveal a refined vision. She could also be a mess. Her place was a mess. Her photo technique, stained. That mess is the texture of her work. She couldn’t control everything, but somehow with her touch, that mess became poetry.
I saved everything Francesca shared with me in a box. It was filled with pictures we took together, prints she would send through the mail (with a stamp and writing right on the back), invitations she would slip under my door.
Forty years later, it was time to share the contents of that box. In 2019 I collaborated with the Museum of Contemporary Art in Denver on the exhibition Francesca Woodman: Portrait of a Reputation, as well as on the accompanying Rizzoli publication with the same title. The box was not Francesca’s biography, it was just a missing chapter that I shared.