Artists at the beginning of their careers often take advantage of the medium to learn about themselves and use art as a staging ground to decide how they feel about things. I see this come out as anger and insecurity more often than not. Which is understandable because it’s great subject matter. Art allows us to puzzle out and express things, and other times it just shows the world who we are.
The first thing I noticed about Taisha Teal’s work is that it’s consistently about affection. Her art, no matter what medium she’s working in, always comes across this way. Not as a word to disguise sexuality, but as it is. When she paints cultural icons, she paints women who are valued for their faces as often as for their abilities. She paints them with soft edges that capture their personalities more than their cheekbones. She uses spray-paint how Bob Marley might have painted graffiti. Any landscape appears as an invitation, and most of her other paintings want to kiss you. And speaking of that, Burt’s Bees commissioned a work from her titled Lipstick That Loves You Back, and it’s true. They couldn’t have asked anyone better. She takes modern, cultural ideas, and makes them kinder, warmer, and more personal.
Taisha is an exhibitor at Art! Vancouver, but also fills some roles in the event’s communications management, including invitations, event planning, and also as a social media liaison for galleries and artists both local and abroad. She’s currently working on a university education in Psychology to build a career in art therapy for children, which sounds like the perfect evolution of her work.
I reckon teaching kids about art-that-loves-you-back is something needed, therapeutically or no, and no one could do it better.