Model turned painter Tali Lennox
has never been a stranger to the worlds of art and fashion, and now she’s got a solo show of her own paintings to prove it. With mind-melting portraits, a fresh face, and a down to Earth take on style, Tali is one creative beauty we’ve got our eye on. We talked to the budding artist about her Soho show, finding her aesthetic, and what she wears when she paints. Check it out, and if you’re in NYC be sure to swing by the Catherine Ahnell gallery to see the expo for yourself!
I would have to say the Bath Towel series was my favorite part of the show. For me, it had so many layers and I love the way that the canvases interacted with each other. It is about a combining past and present: I look like a medieval woman in a modern context, I feel that with so much access with the Internet we are in an era-less era, it’s just a stew. Today doesn’t feel definable like the 20’s or 60’s, so I’m constantly going back to the past for inspiration. It’s also about what we expose & what we hide. It’s in the bathroom which is an intimate and private room where we deal with our bodies, our insecurities, our vanity, our relaxation. I’m looking to uncover the hidden parts of every day life.
How did you find your artistic voice?
Following my heart, not thinking about what will please others and not getting too curious about the work of others.There aren’t a great deal of acknowledged female painters and artists, so for me it’s important to express a female voice and the strong emotion and sensitivity that women have that are very different to men. Through my work I would like to encourage girls & women to embrace their emotions and be who they are, without concern of fitting a ‘feminine’ mold or ideal. If you express something from the heart, you are honest and the art is honest (whether it’s acting or writing or painting) the viewer will believe you. They may not like it but they will sense it’s from a real place. To me, it’s always about authenticity!
Does anyone ever ask you to do a portrait that you really really don’t want to do? If that happens, what do you do?
Yes that’s happened, but to be honest I have so much work in mind that I want to paint for myself and it’s hard to fit in time to do pieces for others. However, it’s great to do commissioned portraits for people as it’s a nice way to interpret someone who I wouldn’t initially have looked to to paint. Really, I find all people interesting in their own unique way: every face is different, so it’s never going to be a bad experience for me to paint someone. Each painting is unique to itself.
How do elements of your artwork translate into your style?
Well, when I’m painting I have no style! I dress practically and wear comfortable clothes that I can get stained. It might be sweat pants & an old t shirt…which I will wear for a week or so without changing. It’s really fantastic because it balances out with the times I model & have to think more about the way I look. When I do dress up I enjoy it! I like to wear prints and rich colors, and take reference from the past.
What’s the difference between the art world and the fashion world?
I’m still new in the art world and don’t have the knowledge to define it yet, but with the art world I contribute something that I make with my own vision and hands. I put a lot more creative energy into it, and through my work I have a voice. With modelling you are part of someone else’s vision, which is lovel,y but it’s less of your own creation.
What’s your style signature?
When I’m painting it’ll be a pair of Frame jeans because they are so comfortable or sweatpants with my boyfriend’s old T shirt! When I’m not painting I like to wear clothes inspired by the past: hats and small hints of kitch quirkiness like a great pair of star printed boots I just got from Tommy Hilfiger, or glittery sunglasses.
Do you have any sentimental jewelry/ accessories that you wear all the time?
I always wear my mum’s coats, she has the best collection of quirky clothes that she passed down to me, and because we live in different countries it’s nice to feel a piece of her with me.
What are you gonna be up to this spring?
Painting. With a little trip to visit my dad in Ibiza in between!
More importantly, what will you be wearing?
In Ibiza my style always gets very feminine, floaty & bohemian.