Cross media artist Megan Marrin transforms disturbing and beautiful encounters into visual poetry writes Indigo Clarke.
As though caught in motion, fleeting moments and extreme narratives play out in the delicate lines of Megan Marrin’s figurative artworks. Tales of murder, lust, betrayal, redemption and true love emerge through the New York artist’s visceral photographs, paintings and drawings, with storylines sourced from obscure films, folk songs and fortuitous flea-market finds.
“Recently I’ve been interested in storytelling,” reveals Marrin of her intimate work. “I'm drawn to extremes as my life is rather dramatic. Living in New York, being surrounded by the best and worst of everything and all the extremes of the city, you get used to a certain level of drama.”
Her most recent collection of drawings, ‘From Sunrise’ 2006, are dreamlike renderings of indelible encounters in charcoal and ink on paper, reflecting on F. W Murnau’s silent film ‘Sunrise’, from 1927. "I saw Sunrise and was immediately drawn to it,” explains Marrin. “It was beautiful and looked like something I had imagined, with universal themes portrayed in black and white terms. At it’s most basic, it’s a film about infidelity, loss and love rekindled.”
Because ‘Sunrise’ is silent, the narrative and emotions are expressed solely through movement, which fascinates Marrin. “The dramatic gestures in ‘Sunrise’ are reflected in my drawings, but also tie into my photographic series which is sexual, amplified and over-the-top. I love the idea that a gesture or pose can imply an emotion or attitude like sexiness, anger or pain. Body language is so primal and sincere, but can equally be staged and theatrical.”
Marrin’s untitled photographic series, of which there are over 500 individual images, was created over a seven year period, and culminated in a self-published limited edition run of her book, ‘An Anthology of Space Collected’ in 2004.
Inspired by the Surrealists cross-meda approach to making, Marrin has lately been trying her hand at collage, while taking conceptual direction from 'Two Sisters', an Appalachian folk song retelling the biblical tale of Cain and Able. “The song is so visual. It's about two sisters – the elder sister drowns her younger sister in a lake. In the song, a musician finds the drowned girl’s bones on the riverbank and crafts a fiddle from them, which plays a sad song," describes Marrin. “I’m interested in the intent behind actions, in exploring through my work why people do the terrible, or beautiful, things they do.”
Megan Marrin is currently co-ordinating a reprint of ‘An Anthology of Space Collected’ as a larger edition.