I am not using humor in the same way as I did in previous paintings and to some extent, laughter served as a side effect to a way of working. Humor and laughter, however, did allow for freedom in the painting process, as I experience euphoria when I paint. My most recent works are indeed darker both in their subject matter and physicality. These canvases are predominantly black with darker backgrounds surrounding figures, but light still breaks through them. The reason I paint in a comic style is to lessen the intensity of the subject matter so that it becomes rawer and more palatable both on the canvas and to the viewer. It is also a subversive way of rendering difficult subject matters in painting. — Tala Madani
Madani will join curator Jessica Cerasi in conversation this week for a discussion about artistic practice and Madani’s recent series Shit Moms.
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
Thursday, December 17.
9 am on the West Coast; noon East Coast; 5 pm London; 6 pm Paris.
Tala Madani, from top: Through modernism, 2017, oil on linen; Black Sun, 2017, silkscreen medium and oil on linen; Morris Men, 2012, oil on canvas; Untitled, 2015, oil on linen; The Womb, 2019, video still, animation, color, silent; Dirty Protest, 2015, oil on linen; Bedside Scratch, 2016, oil on linen. Images © Tala Madini, courtesy of the artist and David Kordansky Gallery.