While I was teaching at RISD, 1976-1979, I made “environmental portraits” of people I knew in Providence, including students. I was interested in photographing Francesca because her “lifestyle” was such an integrated part of her art-making. Her clothing and living situation incorporated the richness of Victorian textures coupled with the ever-present evidence of decay. This was a genuine projection of her persona and not some “style” or device put together as photographic prop.
Today there is obviously a strong following of Francesca and her work. I think her photography continues to resonate with viewers today because of the directness and accessibility of her vision. She projects a haunting melancholy along with a playful, often sensual, acceptance of being captured by the entropy of living. Her casual camera and printing technique reinforce this view of her environment.
Thank you Douglas very much for sharing the story 🙂