Faces in Focus

The works in Drew Tal’s new show “Silent Worlds,” which opens on May 11 at Turner Carroll Gallery, focus on the faces of children.

“There is an innocence in children but also a kind of underlying depth, judgment-free wisdom and fearless attitude that I find challenging and inspiring,” explains Tal, an Israeli-born artist who divides his time between living in Florida and the south of France.

“Silent Worlds” was inspired by a trip to the Forbidden City, a walled city within the city of Beijing, China. It features around a dozen large photographs layered with texture and pattern which were created through a process that Tal says is both laborious and artistically satisfying.

“The Forbidden City is a massive complex of palatial architecture that I found extremely fascinating,” he adds. “As I was wandering around the hundreds of impressive palaces and structures, I couldn’t help imagine what life was like behind these walls. I especially wondered what it was like for the children. The series of portraits I created zooms in on these sheltered children; some dressed in the finest of silks, some posed behind windows, all staring into the viewer’s eyes.”

Traveling, whether it’s to the remote Sahara desert, walled Medieval cities in Italy, the fjords in Norway, the Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Australia or Medieval hilltop villages in France, has been an integral part of Tal’s personal and professional life for decades. Each journey, he says, has brought with it a fresh need to create.

“I am now and have always been very visual and therefore inspired and artistically stimulated by a great many different things,” Tal explains. “Typically, it is a face that will inspire me to begin a new piece, but I am also constantly inspired by old walls, trees, clouds, fabrics, nature and textures of all kinds.”

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