Allen Frame: Toward a Photography of Depth
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Published in: July-August 2023 issue.


ALLEN FRAME is an artist whose interests and curiosity motivate him to create psychologically driven photographic narratives. His photos are images that not only contain clues about his subject’s inner lives but are also reflections of his associations with these images. Similarly, the viewer is asked to free-associate with the presented imagery. His technique encourages us to question what lies beneath the surface image.

            Frame was born in Greenville, Mississippi, in 1951. This Delta town is known for its literary culture and figures, including Shelby Foote and Walker Percy. He has been influenced by the writings of William Faulkner, Carson McCullers, and Tennessee Williams. He graduated from Harvard in 1974 and moved to New York City in 1977. By the 1980s, he was immersed in the East Village arts scene working in experimental theater and photography with Nan Goldin, Gary Indiana, Cookie Mueller, Steven Buscemi, and others. He directed a play based on the writings of David Wojnarowicz’ Sounds in the Distance. Frame lived in London for two years and wrote about the experimental theater scene there. He co-authored and co-directed, with Bertie Marshall, Call Grandad. In recent years, he has written a full-length play titled Dogs Barking in the Deep South. He has also worked in film and was the executive producer of Four (2012), directed by Joshua Sanchez and starring Wendell Pierce.

            In the 1980s, as the AIDS plague ravaged on, Frame became involved in the Visual AIDS Artists’ Caucus, along with Frank Moore, Nan Goldin, and other photographers and artists.

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Irene Javors is a frequent contributor to The G&LR and lives in New York City.