And the art of coming home again
And the art of coming home again
Austin-born Natalie Frank has always known she was an artist. “My grandmother said, ‘All you wanted to do as a child was pick up rocks and inspect things.’ I think [my career] was probably foreshadowed in my childhood,” she laughs. In middle school, Frank’s parents separated and she moved with her mother to Dallas. Frank says she didn’t really fit in at school and so, with the support of her parents, she began to explore her interest in art. “I started really seriously figure drawing when I was 12 or 13,” says Frank. “I would go with my mother to draw nude models in this woman’s garage cause it wasn’t allowed in school. It was considered inappropriate.” Though she found support at home, Frank’s school leaders were less than thrilled with their student’s interest in drawing the human form.
When she was 15, Frank’s parents sent her to the Slade School of Fine Art at University College of London to spend a summer studying with the masters. “They have an amazing tradition and history of figurative artists,” explains Frank. “I just fell in love with that place.” Though she may not have realized it at the time, London proved a pivotal place for the young artist. During her undergraduate studies at Yale University, Frank returned to London to continue studying at the Slade.
After graduation, Frank moved to New York to pursue her MFA. Around that time, she befriended London-based artist Paula Rego, who was the first to encourage her to explore the Brothers Grimm. “I had never worked from stories or literature before and [Rego thought] I would love that,” says Frank “She thought the narrative surrounding women and the body and sexuality and violence and humor would be right up my alley — and it was.”
And so, four years ago, Frank retreated to her Brooklyn studio to begin work on illustrating Tales of the Brothers Grimm. “This was the first time I was like, ‘I’m going to trust my imagination to see what this world can become,’” explains Frank. The result is an epic tome filled with gorgeous drawings illustrating some of the most iconic stories in modern literature. But make no mistake; This doesn’t look like your childhood copy of Grimm’s fairy tales. In her version, Frank explores themes of gender, sexuality, and domestic abuse in a fantastical and stunning world.
It was precisely this world that led the Blanton Museum of Art to curate Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm, an exhibition running July 11 through November 15 and featuring more than 30 pieces of Frank’s work. The event, a partnership between the Blanton and The Drawing Center, also marks the New York-based Frank’s first big show in her hometown, the place where her father and much of her family still lives. Says Frank, “I associate being a child with living [in Austin]. It felt appropriate… I think a lot of what is in these stories about play and beginning to see life through stories, that’s how you understand life. That’s what the Grimms are.” Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm, runs July 11 through November 15 at the Blanton Museum of Art.
by Joanna Steblay
As the warm weather begins to set in and patio parties hit our calendars, we can’t help but embrace that summertime has returned to Austin. If you’re anything like us, you’ll be celebrating the return of the season with decadent ice cream, healthy smoothies and icy cocktails from your favorite local spots.
For those days when it’s too hot to venture out, we went to Austin’s sweet treat professionals and compiled the ultimate collection of DIY recipes to make from your home. Click through the galleries below to learn how to make everything icy and sweet, from poptails for date night to ice cream sandwiches for a dinner party.more
The spring edition of the Renegade Craft Fair returns for its seventh year in Austin May 14-15 at Fair Market. With over 125 makers on the roster, the scene is sure to be bustling with local artisans and DIYers slinging their unique, one-of-a-kind wares. In addition to great shopping, the RCF offers activities, special showcases and plenty of food and drink options for visitors. This year, celebrate your hard work shopping with a snack from Burro Cheese Kitchen and Lucky Lab Coffee Co. before commemorating the afternoon with some snapshots from Magnolia Photo Booth Co. But before...more
by James Ruiz
Inspired by the beautiful outdoor living spaces featured in our May feature The Space Between, we went window shopping and found some great outdoor furniture and accessories to liven up your outdoor patio, porch and pool. Flip through the galleries below to see how you can add a pop of color and style to your outdoor hideaway.more
Hundreds of people are moving to Austin each day, and downtown is one of the major hubs of growth for the city. Local real estate expert Jude Galligan discusses smart urban growth and what to expect this year as the skyline continues to evolve.
Your blog keeps Austin updated on the latest news in downtown. What is the most exciting development happening right now?
From my point of view, the most exciting development is the Waller Creek District Master Plan. Decades in the making, this transformative project came to life after designers competed for the contract. It is finally coming to downtown, bringing an imaginative chain of parks,...more
by James Ruiz
As you flip through the pages of our February Love Issue, one thing you’ll notice is the beautiful blooms that pop up throughout the magazine. We got some major googly eyes for the bouquets featured in our "Real Weddings" features, and earmarked the TRIBEZA Wedding Guide for even more Pinterest-worthy petals.
Instead of letting all that inspiration go to waste, we tried our hand at flower arranging to see what we could create. Since we consider ourselves floral design novices, we asked a few top designers...more