Written review by
Associate Curator, International Center of Photography
I am instinctively drawn to and moved by the sensitivity and refinement of Fran’s visual universe. The quest for this special moment in light and darkness reminds me of Junichiro Tanizaki’s « In Praise of Shadows », and brings to mind another Japanese concept : “Mono no Aware”, the beauty of the ephemeral. How rare and difficult, to capture this with a camera while translating the poetry and beauty of the fleeting instant. This corpus is well-thought and well-constructed, without rigidity or predictability.
The images that move me the most and that I find esthetically the most achieved are 3, 5 and 6, the latter one being particularly beautiful and poetic. The shadow of the balloon on these trees take you up and down in a very delectable way. I love the window (3), its femininity and psychoanalytical dimension. Image 12 -- almost there, but the composition is not strong enough, I wish I were closer to the reflection of that three. The monkey (10) is funny and interesting but perhaps too far removed from the epicenter of Fran’s imaginary world. The other images in the portfolio are good, and I can see why Fran took this pictures and what he saw when he took them, but it might be too obvious and somehow I get a feeling of déjà-vu looking at them. Perhaps because the form takes over the feeling, there is too much going on with the blur and wide angle. Being obvious is never good. They are not bad pictures, they just don’t strike that same subtle cord.
Overall I think this is an excellent portfolio and I would love to see more of Fran’s photographs, more delicate dreams with light and shadow, more trips like the ones I took here. Thank you.