New England artist-photographer Fran Forman creatively combines straight photography, digital photo-manipulation, painting, and stage design to create images that are highly emotionally charged instants, captured in enigmatic, clock-stopped silence. She thinks of each image as a still in a noir movie frame, a single elusive moment among moments, or, in another way, a rest between two notes. Solitary figures, sometimes blurred, turned away, or immersed in shadow, live in stylized geometric spaces, splashed with light and saturated color. Acknowledging a debt to the 17th century Masters’ chiaroscuro, along with Edward Hopper’s trademark directional light, and the moody, stylized work of certain poetic cinematographers, Forman creates personal dreamscapes that often seem oddly familiar to the rest of us. These are “interiors,” both literally and figuratively. Most are shots in rooms, hallways, and stairwells; even the one landscape in the series conveys a distinct sense of enclosure. But by her creative craft, the artist also creates a palpable effect of psychological space, an effect that encloses both the viewer and the viewed in a shared, somewhat eerie story – a story of coming and leaving, innocence and confidence, shadow and light, night and day, absence and connection, loss and longing, and not quite the past and not yet the future. The roots of her approach formed early and are still visible in her work. She says:
"As a child in Baltimore, I drew constantly – on papers my father brought back from his paper supply warehouse and in the margins of my school books. Mostly I drew faces. For my 13th birthday, I asked my parents for a subscription to Look magazine; I thought their photographs were even better than those I saw in Life, and I copied these photographs, paying special attention to the faces and shading. This was my art education, and from those mid-century photographic masters, I absorbed a sense of composition through the use of light and shadow, balance, and symmetry. I sensed that a photograph could make me feel…something. To this day, I remember the emotional impact of the exhibit, The Family of Man, at the Baltimore Museum of Art."