Throughout my artistic practice I’ve painted women in a variety of contexts, from portraits to narrative figurative vignettes. In each lies a common motive: to investigate and reveal something essential or visceral about the female experience, and the emotional, psychological, and cultural forces that shape the lives of women. I’m particularly drawn to the manipulation of contrasts and contradictions -- exploring the point where beauty becomes indiscernible from ugliness, exploitation from agency, darkness from light, and rage from transcendence.
My most recent body of work features nudes entangled in passionate tableaus, bodies knotted in postures inspired by wrestling and aggression. The images that result render a broad range of emotional and psychological states in corporeal form. Expressions of fury and rage become the raw contemplation of our deepest fears; erotic desire or pleasure; sharp, crushing grief or despair.
Megan Van Groll is an American painter specializing in contemporary figurative realism, exploring themes of identity, psychology and gender through the female form.
She earned a BFA in Drawing & Painting from the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas, where she studied under Matthew Bourbon, Vincent Falsetta, Robert Jessup, and Annette Lawrence. She also studied painting and drawing at the Istituto Lorenzo de Medici in Florence, Italy.
Van Groll’s work is most influenced by Chuck Close, Lucian Freud, Jenny Saville, Marilyn Minter, and fellow Lorenzo de Medici alumna Alyssa Monks. She held her first solo exhibition in 2008 and continues to show her work around the U.S. Her work is held in a variety of private art collections in both the United States and abroad.
She currently lives and works in Dallas, Texas.