Tali Lennox has already carved out a space for herself in the fashion world, and now she’s steadily building up her credibility in the art world. The model turned bona fide artiste showed her first solo exhibition, Layers of Life, back in March at the Catherine Ahnell Gallery. Her work was greeted with warm reviews, proving that she is well on her way to conquering yet another facet of the creative landscape.
Last night, Tali was on hand to kick off summer at the H&M Loves Rockaway bash, where she dutifully sketched portraits of attendees as music blared and guests nibbled on light bites. Watching her work in person, you almost forget that this is the same 22-year-old who has walked the runway for Prada, Marc Jacobs, Kenzo and a bevy of other top tier brands. Whatever feelings people may have about her status as the daughter of Eurythmics singer Annie Lennox, forget them — it’s clear the girl’s got talent.
We caught up with the young Ms. Lennox to talk art, summer in the city and how she stays cool in New York City’s notoriously oppressive heat.
theFashionSpot: How do you think your famous family has affected your art career?
Tali Lennox: It’s been neutral. At the end of the day when you create paintings, they’re only coming from you. No one’s doing this for me. The art world itself is a little bit harder [than the fashion world]. Before my first show opened, the art publications didn’t want to cover it. They were thinking, “Oh, a model doing art, who cares?” But once they saw the work, they all wrote about it and it got a lot of good reviews. That was the most rewarding. I have respect for the art world, and I respect the artist’s life — I can see how it’s not really fair to snap your fingers when most artists work for 20 odd years before they gain any kind of recognition. So far it’s been really great and I can’t complain.
tFS: What’s the piece of work you’re most proud of?
TL: I like my Bath Towel series. I love experimenting with textures and I like to do paintings where I can say “I’ve never seen this before.” I don’t do a painting just to do a painting, I do it with meaning and messages. The Bath Towel series is about what we hide, female psychology and our relationship with ourselves, how we are in the privacy of our bathrooms, our bodies, our intimacy, our vanity, our insecurities. I’m always fascinated by that.
tFS: What inspires you?
TL: I’m always inspired when I’m in a place of solitude. Ironically, it’s when you feel a bit lonely, that you start looking at things and absorbing them. I get inspired looking at that wall, for instance, because I think the colors are really beautiful. I love the neon lights and I love the chef in the window. You can really get inspired anywhere; it’s just about looking closely.
tFS: What are some of your favorite summer activities?
TL: I love long bike rides through the city, and going to museums. I recently went to the Whitney and I’m really looking forward to going to the Frida Kahlo show at The New York Botanical Garden. I go to my studio most days in the summer, so that’s kind of what I do in the daytime.
tFS: How do you keep cool when it gets oppressively hot in NYC?
TL: My first summer here, I was so naive. I was in this really old, grimy apartment and I was like, “I don’t need air conditioning, I just want to feel New York summer!” It was hotter inside my apartment than it was outside. I would wake up four times a night, put on a full outfit, go into the shower in freezing cold water, wet the whole outfit and go back to bed in soaking wet clothes. But you know, it was an experience. I like the intensity of it. Everyone’s going through it. You’re just living.
tFS: If you were allowed to wear only one clothing item this summer, what would it be?
TL: I always wear a silk nightgown with a robe from this brand called Lonely. It’s so light and comfortable, you can just get out of bed and wear it out.
tFS: Any vacation plans?
TL: Yes, I’m going upstate and I’m going to St. Kitts. I like last-minute trips!