Natalie Frank: Interview

Natalie Frank, The Devil and the Three Golden Hairs, 2013, gouache and chalk pas
Natalie Frank, The Devil and the Three Golden Hairs, 2013, gouache and chalk pastel on paper, 22 × 30 inches (courtesy of the artist)

Dasha Shishkin interviews painter Natalie Frank about her paintings and her new series of drawings.

In the drawings Frank comments: "I had to fight against my figurative impulse and learn how to trust my own creativity and imagination for the first time since I was a child. The drawings became this place where I could commit crimes and transgressions, where I could do what I wanted and let go of the idea of painting or drawing from life... In the drawings, materials move in and out of abstraction fluidly; painting has a difficult time allowing for that. Suspension of disbelief seems more immediate in a drawing, which is a direct portal into another world. In a painting, the matter of paint and the tradition of painting and figuration always interrupt the read and therefore disrupt this immediate suspension of disbelief... Putting something down in a drawing and reacting to it very quickly, and coming up with surprising, non-obvious images from the unconscious, is incredibly compelling. In painting, this fluctuation between materials can too often become just about 'technique.' My excitement level is higher when drawing because of the uncertain potential of what an image can become at a moment’s notice. The paintings can upset me; but the drawings delight me."