Pictura Gallery

Francine Fleischer


In the modern world, so thoroughly documented, there is little chance to photograph a truly new subject. But there will always be the human form, born in ever-new iterations. And we are continually fascinated with these fellow beings and our own creatureliness.

Francine Fleischer opens a peep hole into a mystical pool, a telescope we can look through without disturbing the subjects, youths and adults alike, in childlike, frog-like, gleeful play. The water is an equalizer- where all bodies despite age, physical ability, or disability experience a moment of effortless weightlessness. There is an unmeditated ease built into these forms. They are graceful, unguarded, amphibious, refreshingly unsexualized, unselfconscious creature formations, skimming the wet black surface.

This series was photographed in a magical mysterious swimming hole that had once been used by an ancient civilization for human sacrifice. Today, it is used by swimmers for recreational swim. I’ve been returning to this spot to photograph the ever-changing cast of characters in this pool.

The dark waters are deep below the earth’s surface and lit from above by a hole in the ground revealing sky and sunlight. When I look down on the swimmers in these inky waters, it is a bit like looking down the rabbit hole into another world. Sometimes it is an allegorical scene, illustrating my subterranean dreams. Other times, I am a merely a voyeur, capturing the body politics and random scenarios, the contradictions of light and dark, levity and gravity, reality and revelry, and of course sinking and swimming.

Each time I return here, I am drawn in by these contradictions, the human conversations and the random choreography below.

Francine Fleischer, a native New Yorker, received a BFA in photography from SUNY Purchase where she studied with Jan Groover Jed Devine and Laurie Simmons. She followed with a media studies grant at NYU. After graduating she cut her teeth in the studios of Annie Liebovitz and Michel Comte.

Her Portrait, Interior and Travel work have appeared in publications such as Vanity Fair, Conde Nast Traveler, Esquire, and Italian Vogue. She was also a regular contributor to House and Garden Magazine, and her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally.

She currently divides her time between New York City and Sag Harbor where she lives with her husband, daughter and menagerie.

Exhibition Archives