Quarantine Confidential: Frank Meuschke
Are you ok? What are you doing to stay sane & ride out the quarantine? I’m okay. Today I re-arranged and cleaned the studio. My preferred distraction is gardening. The ground is still frozen, so I have been focusing on clearing buckthorn and fallen trees in the woods. After piling the brush, I line the woodland paths with the thicker trunks. I’ve got native seeds stratifying in the fridge that will be seeded in cell trays come the end of March. I am lucky to live in the woods where I can see new things and forget others.
What’s your favorite disaster movie? That’s a tough one, so I am going to say Lars von Trier’s Melancholia. Not a typical disaster film, but given the impending earth impact of a rogue planet, it certainly qualifies. Its cosmic disaster is an allegory of a psychological and emotional disaster, an externalization of an oncoming depression. With its adaptation of the prelude to Richard Wagner's opera Tristan und Isolde and stunning visuals, it is also von Trier’s most beautiful film.
What are you working on right now? Anything you want to plug? I am working on a new series of landscape photographs. I don’t like to say too much at the beginning of new work, but as I think about how we are haunted by climate change and have come to naturalize catastrophe, I am shifting from past work’s clarity and maximum depth of field to landscapes not fully resolved. Since I always have one or two long-term bodies of work running alongside that main project, I also continue to create landscapes of greenhouse interiors. You can check out the recent article on my November show, Invisible Present, at Rosalux at: https://lakeminnetonkamag.com/photographer-weaves-together-art-and-environmentalism-cedar-creek
What is your porn star name? (First pet, mothers maiden name) Spanky Di Maio
If you could pick a museum to break into and steal one painting, where and what? Wow, one painting! That’s tough. Something Van Gogh from the Metropolitan Museum of Art? It’s been awhile since I have been, so I will go with one that always stands out for me: Joan of Arc by the French painter Jules Bastien-LePage, 1879. I’ve always been struck by the naturalism of its light; something I’ve taken to be the result of photography. The painting is split into two by the corner of the wall placed dead center. To the left Saints Michael, Margaret, and Catherine, a house and garden, all rather painterly. Joan of Arc is painted quite naturalistically, a separation from the world around her, that separation is affirmed by that sharp line dead center of the painting.
Frank Meuschke creates landscape imagery at the intersection of human activity and natural world. He has exhibited his paintings, photographs, and sculpture nationally at venues such as the Portland Museum of Art, Boston Center for the Arts, Virginia Commonwealth University Fine Arts Gallery, Morse Historic Site, Poughkeepsie, NY, and Socrates Sculpture Park, Queens, NY. A recipient of a 2019 Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grant, Frank has also been awarded a Stobart Foundation Grant, Socrates Emerging Artist Fellowship Grant, and residencies at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, MacDowell Colony, Henry Street Settlement, and Weir Farm Arts Center.