Eddy Frankel’s new art book is about a man who turns into a blob

Eddy Frankel’s new art book is about a man who turns into a blob

It started like any unctuous slide into your 30s. The gentle, autumnal, creeping follicular nudity of hair loss, the gathering of weight around the belly like space junk coagulating in orbit around a dying planet. Some men age, most decompose. Clooney, better looking at 50 than 20. The rest of us? We just flub and flab and melt and moult until we look like haunted versions of our younger selves. Real-life portraits of Dorian Gray that have leeched off the canvas to invade your towns and cities.

But it wasn’t just age with me. It was misery. You can read people’s joy in their bodies. Happy people look happy: unfurrowed, glowing, like sunshine leaks out of every orifice. Fucking unbearable. 

Misery does the opposite.

Stress and anxiety and depression and sadness erode your features. Worry lines around the mouth, creases across the brow, the sag of sullen cheeks. Chewed, stubby nails; sunken, tired, grey eyes. You’re shaped physically by your mental state. That’s why I’m a blob.

Oh god, I wish it was just age. I wish it was just male pattern baldness and a gentle paunch, bones getting creakier, organs turning to mush. But I’m the physical result of countless mental neuroses, of social anxiety, of depression, of guilt, of years and years of accumulated shame. You eat garbage, it clogs your arteries. You think garbage, it clogs your brain, and then – it turns out – your body. Hate yourself enough and you can destroy yourself. It’s not a hugely useful superpower, but it’s better than nothing, I guess.

Blob by Eddy Frankel is available to purchase at Trolley Books.

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