In the Studio
Interview: Michael Wuerges
Photos: Florian Langhammer
At first glance Tal R’s exuberant colorful paintings may give the false impression of being childishly simple. Looking closer, a subtle complexity emerges from his work. What appeared joyful and playful suddenly draws the viewer into a world of myths and darker themes. “It’s fucked up,” says the artist bluntly. We met Tal R in his Copenhagen studio “Paradise”, where he talks to us about topics like the beauty of failure, about his initial struggle to live out his artistic talent, and about what he wants viewers to take away from his work.
It seems as if we were in paradise. A great aura emanates not only from your studio, outside your studio it even says "Paradise".
Oh, thank you. A print studio by that name was formerly based in this building and published a communist newspaper with the title Land og Folk (Land and People), which had quite a reputation in Denmark. The studio was also well known among artists for printing cheap posters. When I moved in here, I liked the concept of working in a “Paradise“, so I decided to keep the letters outside.
Your personal paradise – that sounds fascinating. What is it that is so paradisiacal about your studio?
For me, any studio is a precious place. I like to compare it to the brain. If you think about it, your own brain, despite all its shortfalls, is the only paradise you have. In your brain you are free. You can kill anybody, and you can fuck anybody. You do things that you won't do in your real life, because you would have to bear the consequences. A studio is like a copy of the brain. It’s a place where you try out various things, where you have permission to fail. I think that art is probably the only field or discipline where vulnerability is thought of as a good quality. That’s one of the things that make art special. And that’s why my studio is so important to me.