By NOAH BECKER JAN, 2019
I saw 26 year old NYC based painter Tali Lennox's work and instantly fell in love - her style touches upon the history of great figurative painting. Truth be told, I had no idea she was the daughter of the great music legend Annie Lennox when I gravitated to Tali's paintings. I asked Tali to talk about her paintings and her New York life for an interview in Whitehot Magazine.
Noah Becker: Where are you from and where do you live?
Tali Lennox: I’m from London UK but I’ve lived in New York for seven years.
Becker: When did you start making paintings of figures?
Lennox: The year I moved to New York at age 19.
Becker: Did you do the 10 year challenge?
Lennox: I did not, I’m pretty sure it was a time when I looked like a cross between Princess Diana and a 70’s boy, It was an awkward bowl cut moment.
Becker: How do you think about color in painting?
Lennox: I love to juxtapose color and subject within my work. I use colors that I feel evoke childlike elation, lots of pastels, the color of a fading sunrise, confetti - old motels. These are the colors that make me salivate - the colors of fantasy. Within my subjects I like to suggest weightier themes that have an element of vulgarity or sexuality, frailty and decay. So the relationship between my subjects and color create a confusing paradox that excites me. I want the viewer to not know whether to be disgusted or entice- questioning one's secret perversions.
Becker: If you could be any historical figure which one would you be?
Becker: Do you find Instagram frustrating?
Lennox: I think with Instagram it’s about being careful about how much time you spend on it and what you are looking at. If you aren’t aware of how you use it, it can be a poisonous pool of narcissism and judgment. On the other hand It's a great platform for work, but I’m careful not to let it leak too much into my real life. There’s so many exciting things to see in the world outside of your phone screen.
Becker: How do you spend a typical day?
Lennox: Most mornings I wake up at my boyfriend's in Red Hook Brooklyn, I’ve always been a Manhattan girl so it's nice to be over in the quieter side of the river. I’ll head over to my studio in the morning, which is in the Lower East Side and spend all day there into the evening. It’s amazing how much time I can spend in the space without getting cabin fever. Although the transition into human interaction at night can feel a bit wonky and heightened, I enjoy the internal process of incubation contrasted with the intensity of this city. I’ll take short breaks to walk round the block to get air. Sometimes I’ll see an afternoon film at The Metrograph to feed my eyes. I also photograph my subjects for my paintings in my studio. I try to fit in yoga or Pilates in the evening to get out of my head a bit. I’ll usually see friends or my boy after so that I don’t go into full reclusion mode. I also love the Russian Bathhouse to really cleanse my soul of all that beautiful NYC glitter and dirt.
Becker: What are your plans for the next few years?
Lennox: I really just want to dive deeper and deeper into my work, keep exploring the internal worlds. My paintings take up to two weeks to make so it’s just about putting in as many hours as I can, and falling down a little portal with each one. I love how with painting the intention isn’t for instant success, the more time you put into your work the more it matures, I’m looking at this as a life long practice over wanting to get it all out and seen NOW. As I younger artist I think it's important to respect the process and long journey. I love the photography aspect of my work too and I’d like to experiment with video art, and extending the paintings onto film. WM
Noah Becker shows his paintings internationally. A visual artist, saxophonist and the publisher and founding editor of Whitehot Magazine, Becker has also written freelance articles for many other major magazines. Becker's writing has appeared in The Guardian, VICE, Garage, Art in America, Interview Magazine, Canadian Art and the Huffington Post. He has also written texts for major artist monographs published by Rizzoli and Hatje Cantz. Becker directed the New York art documentary New York is Now (2010) viewable on Youtube.
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