We are very excited about ‘Family’, FotoRoom‘s first open call we launched just a few weeks ago and that will close next 28 February (see here for details on how to enter). The call will be judged by Francesca Genovese, the founder and director of Francesca Maffeo Gallery—we had a quick chat with Francesca about her gallery, the photographers she currently represents and the beautiful opportunity on the table for the winner of the Best Series category. Get to know her a little better and be sure to submit your work!

Hello Francesca, thanks again for joining as the juror of ‘Family’, FotoRoom’s first open call. What’s your background in photography? 

Thank you for asking me, it really is a pleasure to be the juror of this exciting open call.

My background is as a contemporary photographic artist and a lecturer in photography. I have managed photography departments in Further and Higher Education since 1999. My family and sibling relationships are key influences in my own work, stylistically influenced by Noir and Neo Noir film genres and concentrating on themes of memory and family melodrama.

Tell us a bit about Francesca Maffeo Gallery: when and how did you decide to open your own gallery? 

The gallery was founded in August 2015 and opened in June 2016. Having spent over fifteen years developing photography programs within educational institutions, I decided I wanted to provide opportunities for a wider audience to learn about and enjoy photography within a gallery setting. I am passionate about mentoring the photographers I work with, supporting them in their artistic careers.

What is your vision behind Francesca Maffeo Gallery’s program of exhibitions, and how would you describe your selection of represented artists?

The vision was to provide a gallery space, print sales space and education opportunities for photographers and those wishing to engage further with contemporary photographic practice.

The majority of the photographers I currently represent work predominantly in analog—I think this is something I feel an affinity with. It was not a conscious decision, albeit I suspect it is subconscious: it is an aesthetic and a visual language I recognize and relate to.

I would describe Francesca Maffeo Gallery‘s artists as passionate individuals who work tirelessly over long periods of time to produce bodies of work that are considered and visually arresting. Whether they fit neatly into genres is of no concern to me—they are artists and demonstrate the ability to produce work which they believe in. I am reminded of a wonderful article called ‘The Long Run’ written by Olivier Laurent. The focus is on the commitment photographers make to continue projects over long periods: they are visual storytellers whose projects may never be resolved.

Besides judging the ‘Family’ call, you generously proposed to offer Print Room representation to the winner of the Series category, if the work matches the standards of your gallery. What’s the Print Room, and in what would the representation contract consist more precisely? 

Our Print Room is a dedicated space in the gallery where prints can be purchased. The gallery showcases artists on a regular basis and we work with artists to develop their practice and support them in the promotion of their work. The gallery and the artist work together to select a series of images which will be printed and presented exclusively in the Print Room and on our website.

Do you have any advice for those who would like to enter the call? 

‘Family’ is such a fantastically broad theme, I am excited to see the entries! I would say that it is important to think carefully about your edit—do not submit anything you cannot stand by. Most importantly, submit something!

Choose your #threewordsforphotography.

Suspended. Fragile. Fragment.

The ‘Family’ open call closes next 28 February—submit now

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