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The Color of Absence by Fran Forman

Also in her new series Fran Forman combines and manipulates, alter and fuse photographs with painting, reality with fiction – whatever it takes to tell the story. Each image is carefully constructed digitally over many weeks, compositing and assembling models (mostly non-professional), costumes, figures, objects, and settings, as if creating a stage set. Shadows and light, often digitally constructed, become major characters in the image.

Blue Stairway by Fran Forman

"I think of each image as a still in a noir movie frame, that elusive and liminal moment between moments, requiring the viewer to wonder what’s next?"

Seated Nude by Fran Forman

As a former therapist, Fran Forman is acutely aware of the shadows that lie beneath the illusory sunny narrative of American life and the promise of ‘domestic tranquility. There is a sense of alienation, expectations and ambiguous relationships, longing, and disquiet within the domestic scene.

Sam on a Bed after Hopper by Fran Forman

Fran Forman creates new and imagined staged scenes that integrate and juxtapose realism with illusion, villains with saints, longing with disconnection. Born of intuition, mood, and inspiration, her constructed images are suspended in vibrant fantasies that hint at ambiguity, at dual realities, yet always a slash of light offers a measure of hope.

A Woman's Gaze by Fran Forman

Fran Forman held a succession of positions in the field of design, and was an art director at AOL Time Warner, where she designed the preeminent web site devoted to African American culture. Between professional life and raising her two daughters, Fran continued to create her personal art, combining her illustrative and photographic skills with a passion for surrealism, paradox, illusion, assemblage, and the dislocations of time and place.

Portrait of a Lady by Fran Forman

Born in Baltimore, Maryland, Fran studied art and sociology as an undergraduate at Brandeis University and then received an MSW, working for several years with heroin addicts. She earned an MFA from Boston University in graphic design, but spent most of her grad school years experimenting in the darkroom.

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Fran Forman

Fran Forman ’s photo-paintings are in the permanent collections of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum (NASM, Washington, DC), the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, The Grace Museum, Abilene, The Sunnhordland Museum, Norway, the Conner Collection at The University of Texas, and the North Down Museum, Northern Ireland.

Fran’s latest book, The Rest Between Two Notes: Selected Work by Fran Forman, was published by Unicorn in 2020 and has won an International Photo Award and been selected as a best photo-book for 2020 by Elizabeth Avedon and What Will You Remember. Fran’s book also was the sole feature in the photography magazine, Dek Unu, and it was featured in The British Journal of Photography, 1854 Media, L’Oeil de la Photographie, and others.

Escape Artist: The Art of Fran Forman, was published by Schiffer Books in 2014 and has also won several prizes including a Best Photo-Book by Elizabeth Avedon.

Fran has mounted many solo exhibitions, including The Fox Talbot Museum, Lacock Abbey, England, The Massachusetts State House (The Griffin Museum of Photography), AfterImage Gallery (Dallas), the University of North Dakota, Galeria Photo/Graphica (Mexico), Sohn Fine Art, OpenShutter (Dorango), and the Pucker Gallery (Boston), as well as numerous group shows. She has won numerous awards and prizes and has been featured in other magazines and publications.

Today Fran is an Affiliated Scholar at the Women’s Studies Research Center at Brandeis University and teaches workshops nationally and abroad. She is also a recipient of grants from the Sassower, Tyre, Tavris, and Puffin Foundations. She has been a Resident Artist at Holsnoy Kloster, Norway, Millay Arts, The Studios of Key West, and the Vermont Studio Center.

She is represented by Pucker Gallery (Boston), Afterimage Gallery (Dallas), Susan Spiritus Gallery (Newport Beach, CA), Sohn Fine Art Gallery, and Galeria Photo/Graphica (San Miguel de Allende, Mexico).

Fran Forman, Photo by Heather Oeklaus

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