Megan Frank is an artist devoted to quelling obsessions, in any and all mediums possible, as they pursue their BFA in Painting at UMASS Dartmouth. Employing their experiences with mental illness, queer identity, and a love for trash- they make art in the hopes of finding control amongst the chaos. They obsessively explore the ideas of uselessness, escapism, privilege, and the ugly side of changing for the better. They continuously blur the boundaries of medium and expression; mixing painting, collage, photography, writing, sculpture, social practice, and print.
As an individual who thrives on social interaction and the collaborative microcosm a studio setting can provide- I have been wholly uprooted. The world which I have spent so much time worrying about is in further disarray, and now there is even less I can do about it. Before the way we live seemed to change overnight, I would place myself amongst the mountains of trash in my studio, look inward at my tumultuous feelings about my environment, and making art would happen as a means of control; as a means of reaction and response. It was a way of saying everything I wanted to tell the world.
And it seems, in a world turned on its head, those words no longer say what I meant them to. My anger and sadness and anxieties have nowhere to go, and have become a foreign language, even to myself. I still find myself staring down at my useless human hands wishing I could do more, and I still find myself swallowed by obsessions in a search for any kind of control. But now no one else is in control of anything either, and everyone else is just as useless as me. And knowing now that every person I’ve ever known is just a mirror of myself, and that it took an earth-shaking event to make me see that, I feel lost.
I’m holding on to my pounds of trash and anger when there’s no room around me for any of that anymore, and the only place left for me is the place I’ve always ran away from. I would spin so many lies about how all of what I did before was a sort of therapy, that it helped. But all the externally focused work was a band-aid on a snakebite. The only place I can go with room enough to start change is inward, into myself.
I am still obsessive, I still yearn for control, I’m still angry and sad and anxious. I still feel useless and small and yet, all at once too much. And now I must face these things critically, without leaning on outside problems as a means to justify them. I need to suck the venom from the snakebite if I want to survive.
I can only use what I already have, for materials and content. I can’t finish what I started before- my tirade of protest now an unfinished sentence, buried in a pile somewhere I can no longer be. I am a butterfly, working tirelessly inside my cocoon of a body, inside the cocoon of my family home; in an effort to come out on the other side as beautiful and changed as I can possibly be.
- 103 Empty Things, 2020, photo collage of empty, unused, and hoarded items, 10.6” x 16”
- 103 Empty Things (detail), 2020, photo collage of empty, unused, and hoarded items, 10.6” x 16”
- SBTW, 2020, digital collage, fabric, found items, 6” x 16”
- 14 Days of Self Awareness, 2020, digital collage, 10” x 16”
- 14 Days of Self Awareness (detail), 2020, digital collage, 10” x 16”
- DBD, 2020, paint and found materials on bedsheet, 10.6” x 14”
- TBIASOGTAC, 2019, paint and found materials, digital background, 10.6” x 15”
- TBIASOGTAC (detail), 2019, paint and found materials, digital background, 10.6” x 15”
- 100 Reasons, 100 Seconds, 2020, paint on scratch tickets, 8” x 16”
- 100 Reasons (detail), 100 Seconds, 2020, paint on scratch tickets, 8” x 16”
- WIP MAP, 2020, photo collage of notecards, ideas, and an in-progress novel, 10.6” x 12”
- WIP MAP (detail), 2020, photo collage of notecards, ideas, and an in-progress novel, 10.6” x 12”