The only sign of her glamorous past are the few celebrity friends who served as subjects, actors Casey Affleck, Ione Skye, Jeanne Tripplehorn and Patricia Arquette among them.
She was traipsing around her studio as she spoke, draped in a vintage men's jacket, her curly mane covered by a wide-brimmed felt hat she made herself, pausing periodically to dissect one of her images.
"I've invested my entire world in this work."On Saturday, Demme debuts at the Venice gallery Obsolete, showing oversized portraits from her "Work" series.
On a cloudy afternoon last week, Demme was scrambling to prepare for the show.
One of her long antique worktables was strewn with prints and she studied every one, as if seeing it for the first time.
"I don't have anybody's numbers anymore," she said.
FULL COVERAGE: 2013 Spring arts preview Still, Demme's private opening on Wednesday night was so packed it was tough to see the art.
Her days revolve around her utilitarian Atwater Village studio, a cavernous space filled with antique ephemera.
She'll tell you she's been in hiding for six years, casting off the pretensions that came with life as a famous (and infamous) Hollywood impresario."It was a great time," Demme said last week of that raucous era at the Roosevelt Hotel, when A-listers clamored to get into her parties. Lost my mind."PHOTOS: Celebrities by The Times FOR THE RECORD: Amanda Demme: In the May 4 Calendar section, an article about photographer Amanda Demme said that Demme's work is being shown at the Venice gallery Oblivion. Now 47, Demme lives a quieter existence as a fine art portrait photographer.
A dozen or more portraits were stacked against a far wall, each image depicting various shades of resignation and even naked despair.
It was a mature, but stylish crowd and not lacking in celebrity.
Joaquin Phoenix, Maria Bello, Vince Vaughn and Gina Gershon milled around while lesser knowns ate spaghetti off small plates and marveled at the work's realism.