This week I had the pleasure of visiting Talia Israeli’s studio in Jaffa, a section of Tel Aviv. Her studio is in a spacious live/work space in a bustling beach-side neighborhood, where Arab and Jews live side by side amidst narrow alley ways, weathered Arabic architecture and countless restaurants. Jaffa exuded a very shabby-chic vibe.
It was really exciting seeing Talia’s work. I feel a bit displaced here in Israel at the moment, as should be expected. Part of that displacement is due to my lack of an artistic community as I had in New York. It was refreshing to talk painting with Talia and meet an artist here with similar interests. It felt like meeting someone that spoke my language.
Talia is also interested in the landscape. She paints primarily from photographic sources, and her work explores contrasts between the natural and synthetic and the urban and pastoral. Much of the paintings are nocturnes, and the color and mark both provide a severity – at times bordering upon the urban language of graffiti. It’s a novel approach to the landscape and she contrasts that language with atmospheric passages in the paintings, usually achieved through a carefully modulated color environment. The result is a sort of moody urbanism, as if Edward Munch listened to hip hop, read comics and lived in an urban, beach-side neighborhood.
Here’s some images of her work (more online at http://www.taliaisraeli.com/index.html):