Tell No One
Dimensions: 40 x 32″
Media: Duraflex fine art archival paper mounted
between aluminum and clear plexiglass
In Drew Tal’s work, Tell No One, Tal depicts an Islamic woman wearing a traditional hijab, so that the only features available to viewers are her face, piercing gaze, and raised hand. Unlike common social perceptions of Muslim women as ‘others’ and rejecting commonly held western beauty standards, Tal instead subverts these beliefs and shows the woman in a way that accentuates her attention to aesthetic beauty. In conjunction with the art historical symbolism behind the female gaze, the woman’s stare is charged with a sense of sexual agency and demands recognition.
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.