Interview with Natalie Frank

We visited Natalie Frank at her New York studio to hear about the experiences, fairy tales and stories which influence her work. Attending nightly nude figure drawing classes at the age of 12, almost got Frank expelled from her school for pornogaphy. It also cemented the artist’s commitment to tell stories that may not always be well received.


Frank’s work frequently grapples with the myth-making surrounding gendered roles in cultural lore. She has collaborated with the fairy tale scholar Jack Zipes in drawings based on his translated text in Tales of the Brothers Grimm. Drawings by Natalie Frank (Damiani 2015); The Sorcerer's Apprentice (Princeton University Press 2016) and the forthcoming volume, Madame d'Aulnoy (Princeton University Press 2021). In 2019, Frank collaborated with Ballet Austin on an award-winning production of a ballet based on her book of the Grimm's fairy tales, entitled Grimm Tales, for which she served as creative director. Frank also drew the Story of O, the erotic novel about one woman’s journey to understand her own desires, a beacon of sex positive feminism.

For her collaboration with Her Clique, Frank created a limited edition of 30, hand-painted lithograph and woodblock prints, entitled Woman and Dog. 

“I recast and reframe women’s oral tales in my work, Woman and Dog pairs a couple that I have used in many paintings and drawings. There are so many courtly portraits of women and men, women pictured in the subservient position to their husbands, usually kings. I wanted to eschew this and make the woman the “king” and her dog, her loyal companion.”

A portion of the sale proceeds will benefit Dieu Donné, a nonprofit organization dedicated to serving artists through the collaborative creation of contemporary art using the process of hand papermaking.  

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