Dimensions: 31 x 45″
Media: Duraflex fine art archival paper mounted between aluminum and clear plexiglass
Drew Tal’s work, Farewell, calls into question the relationship between the natural and corporeal world, as well as the role the audience plays in understanding—and often subverting—female subjects. The woman in the work is caught in a dynamic moment by engaging with the flower, rather than passively submitting to viewers or the implied suggestion of the male gaze. Rather than adhering to common western tropes of Middle Eastern women’s ‘otherness’, Tal suggests that the woman is not as different as might be thought through her adherence to universalized beauty standards.
Drew Tal grew up in the Middle East in the 1960s in the early stages of Israel’s statehood, granting him exposure to a cosmopolitan mix of cultures, races, and languages. Tal’s adolescence and encompassing environment have since provided the driving subject matter for his works and informed his artistic process; much like the cultural collage of his past, Tal uses collage-esque techniques in his work to layer photographs and painting in a contemporary and highly personal hybrid. Tal’s work focuses on exploring the nuances and ways of life of individuals existing within cultures outside of his own, and combines a fascination with aesthetic beauty and cultural symbolism in his depictions of children and Islamic women. Through photography captured during his extensive travels, Tal uses the historical and cultural significance of textiles juxtaposed before the powerful and direct gazes of his subjects—insisting acknowledgement and and reconsideration of previously established biases. Through his work, Tal
celebrates diversity within modern life and the ability to transcend racial boundaries through visual, non-verbal mediums. Tal’s work has been shown in numerous, renowned galleries around the world, in locations such as New York, Lille, Toronto, and Santa Fe.