Interview with Talia Levitt

Gardening Mixed media 20 x 26 in.

Gardening
Mixed media
20 x 26 in.

Could you give us a brief introduction to who you are and what kind of work you make?
My name is Talia Levitt. I am a painter and graduate of The Rhode Island School of Design. I create work which challenges the disenfranchisement of sentimentality, beauty, and femininity in contemporary art. Through rendering the female figure, gifted items, and items of mythical and natural associations, I create spaces which combine domestic still life and other-worldly landscape. I utilize certain repeated motifs of conceptual significance, such as the leaned sticks of the bowerbird's bower, and the Jewish sukkah as a symbol of allure, collection and shelter.

Where do you gather most of the inspiration for your works?
I gather much inspiration from collected objects and plants passed down to me from housemates, friends and family. I am interested in creating narratives through the combination of cultural artifacts that I string together. 

What is your most important artist tool? Is there something you can’t live without in your studio?
Ooh, probably tape. Masking tape, specifically.

What types of obstacles have you run into in your artistic practice and how do you go about navigating around them?  
Mostly existential obstacles... questioning the significance of my practice outside of myself. This can often hinder my productivity. It helps to surround myself with other artists who make work that I love and respect. This reminds me that my practice can effect, and be valued by others as well. 

What do you feel are the recurring themes in your visual work?  
Beauty, spirituality, sentimentality, femininity. 

Is there a particular artist you feel you relate to? Who are your role models (artists or non-artists)?
Bettye Saar, Agnes Martin, Katie Gui (hi Katie!), John Mcalister, Paul Wackers,