Tali Yalonetzki / Tush Tush

Remember the heady early days of Etsy? I used to favourite new shops and items daily (and sometimes, feel an urgent need to splurge almost daily too). I was smitten with all of it; the vintage wares, the small-run designers... but most of all, the affordable art. Some of the art I bought back then still hangs on my walls, but many of those $25 prints came and went - especially when I did away with my salon-style wall.

One of the artists who endured and holds a special place in my heart is Tali Yalonetzki. I bought the original of her "Young Lady" portrait (above) in 2012 and it has been prominently displayed in my home since (many people on Instagram have asked if it's a portrait of me. It's not, though I suppose it maybe bears a small resemblance to my old profile pic if you don't know me in person).

I don't browse Etsy daily any more. But I did wander over to Tush Tush store last week and found another original called Dancers At Rest (above) and treated myself. It isn't the dancing so much (I'm no bunhead), but the intimacy and separation between the women that spoke to me. I've been thinking a lot about female friends lately, especially my closest female friends. They're the most intimate relationships I have but, at the same time, I feel very unlike all my friends and that's often underscored when we get together, just as much as our closeness and deep affection for each other. And not that I think this painting is portraying all this, but it seemed to capture what's been on my mind.

My favourite work from Tali's shop has a recurring feeling of an old family album. These prints and paintings remind me of pictures I've seen of my parent's childhood, even images I've seen in family albums of people I could no longer name. There's a universality of feeling associated with such images, and yet I don't seem them only as romantic nostalgia. There's also a feeling of regret and loss, perhaps even of damage behind such images for me. But these feelings only make these images so much more beautiful and poignant.

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