Featured Artist: Taliah Lempert—Brooklyn, NYC

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Editor’s note: This story first appeared in Bicycle Times issue #16, published in April 2012.


How did you get started in art?
I got degrees in painting ages ago, a BFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (1989) and an MFA from the NY Academy of Art in 1992. I’ve continued my studies going to drawing classes at Spring Studio in Soho and the Project of Living Artists in Brooklyn, as well as taking printmaking classes at various studios around town.

Preferred medium?
I love experimenting with different materials but oil paint is my favorite. Each media has a unique character and is right for certain things. I love the way acrylic looks on paper, but I mostly can’t stand it on canvas or panel. Oil dries slowly so there’s a lot of time to push it around. And the nature of what it is, oil and pigment, looks and acts a certain way that is very captivating both to work with and, hopefully, to look at.

Day job (if not making your art)?
It’s more than a job, it’s a lifestyle. My art has been my living since 2000.

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Connection to cycling?
I paint pictures of bicycles and ride them for sport/fun and transportation.

How do you choose the bicycles you’re going to paint?
I paint from observation, not photos, so I need the bike in the studio. I like to paint my friends’ bikes, so as much as possible I get those in. I’ve also made friends when I see a very interesting bike that I just have to paint. I do many commissioned paintings of bikes, where someone brings a bike or ships it to the studio, which is always pretty cool. I like what cycling means to each bike owner and how that bicycle fits into it.

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What about the bicycle inspires you?
Bicycles are wonderful to paint. They are inspiring in many different ways. The shapes are themselves beautiful, and I love that, with use, they become unique. A bicycle lets a person harness their energy and do more, go far and fast. Cycling and bicycles are generally a very positive symbol and I love having that as a center for my art.

Any upcoming projects you’d like to share with everyone?
I have a bunch of projects in the works. A lot of cool bikes coming into the studio and printmaking projects as well as a website redo. I don’t want to say too much now … just full steam ahead!

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