Escape Artist:

The Art of Fran Forman

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In this rich and dream-like collection of photo-paintings, artist and fabulist Fran Forman offers characters, scenes and visual narratives that lure the imagination. She explores the multiple meanings of the word escape, focusing on the central idea of breaking through the normal barriers of everyday life. Many of these figures appear to be floating or rowing or sailing away, trying to leave the rest of the earth-bound world behind. Thus, the artist invites us to ask ourselves what realities exist beyond the traditional limits of gravity, linear time, and social convention.

The exquisite poems and story by writer Michelle Blake act as a guidebook to these vast imaginary worlds, suggesting voices for some of the characters and destinations for some of the journeys. All together, the book offers its own particular form of beauty, one that invites the viewer to step outside the known.

Size: 10″ x 10″ | 96 color & b/w images | 192 pp

ISBN13: 9780764347283 | Binding: hard cover

Schiffer Publishing


Essay by Roger Watson, on the exhibition of Escape Artist: The Art of Fran Forman
Director, Henry Fox Talbot Museum,
Lacock Abbey, National Trust, England

How do you capture a dream? What are the images of the mind? Do those images represent reality? Or are they something else entirely?

Photography has been admired since its inception for its ability to record a certain kind of reality down to the minutest detail. This has been both a blessing and a curse. A painter can change the appearance of a scene or a sitter at will, but a photographer must follow the laws of physics and chemistry. But what if an artist could step outside the laws of nature and create photographs of people with wings, rose colored skies and airborne pigs?

The advent of digital imaging in the late 20th century has made this all possible. Fran Forman begins with 19th century figures and places them in fantastic landscapes to create a sort of alternative universe. The poetic narrative of Michelle Blake takes these images even further, gently pulling the viewer through this beautiful, and sometimes disconnecting, dreamscape. The result is an extraordinary journey - an open window into the fertile world of imagination.