Drew Tal


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“My art is a personal investigation across cultural bounds into the underlying human themes and common spiritual threads found in religious, mythological and sexual expression”

Growing up in Israel in the ’60’s, was a blessing for me. At that time in history the young state was a true melting pot for millions of immigrants from all around the globe. Surrounded with such a colorful collage of ethnicities, languages, nationalities, cultures and religions made me realize from an early age that the world beyond me was a rich and complex place. This revelation opened my eyes to the exotic, and made me extremely curious about people and their religions, customs, costumes and histories. It also planted an insatiable desire in me to travel to faraway lands. 

Fortunately, from the age of fifteen, I have been able to realize that desire, and have been traveling extensively throughout Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas ever since. Every journey has brought with it a whole new set of inspirations and a fresh need to create. I responded to my creative urge by sketching, illustrating and studying human and architectural forms, but from the moment I discovered the power of camera and film, I was hooked on that medium. 

In 1981, my travels brought me to New York. I experienced the fantastic metropolis up close and felt at home immediately. I never used my return ticket. I found New York to be as culturally and ethnically diverse as my birth country, except on a much grander scale. New York and especially its ethnic people would become one of the main inspirations for my artistic expression.

Working for a couture fashion house in the mid-’80’s opened a new door for me, a door into the world of fashion. While working there as a designer, I began photographing fashion models for magazine editorials and ad campaigns. Shooting fashion was exciting and lucrative but not as satisfying artistically. However, with access to all the modeling agencies, I could easily cast models and find subjects for my real passion: my art. Indian, Asian, Hispanic and Arab beauty is in abundance in New York. With each exotic face in front of my lens, a new art image emerges in my mind. 

In the early ’90’s, with the introduction of digital software, I began combining my photography with elements of art and texture. Suddenly, photographs I had taken while traveling in faraway destinations had new potential. Decaying facades in Vietnam, Inca walls in Peru, baroque cathedrals in Russia, gold Buddhas in Burma, abandoned temple carvings in India all assumed a new role as they became infused layers of texture and depth in my art. Patiently, I have been merging those travel images with my conventional photography, creating a medium which is somewhere between a photograph and a painting. The process is a laborious one but it gives me the most artistic satisfaction.

Since my association with Emmanuel Fremin Gallery in 2006, I began full devotion to creating art. Through this mutually-beneficial partnership, Emmanuel’s enthusiasm for my work has opened doors for me to exhibitions in fine museums and art galleries worldwide. Emmanuel has been instrumental in my subsequent professional successes. 

Drew Tal’s website

Represented by:
Emmanuel Fremin Gallery
Turner Carroll Gallery
725 Canyon Road, Santa Fe, NM 87501

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