I focused a lot on painting portraits of people at the beginning. Then it was people with bikes, and now I just paint bikes. I showcase my art at bike festivals and markets; it’s a way to get my art out there.
The city of New York is a great place for inspiration, and it’s not difficult to nurture your interest if you’re a fan of the bicycling culture.
You could say that the sport is more popular in New York than you think. Bike rounds focused on women, projects to get young people more involved in the sport, there’s a velodrome in Queens that’s very popular. And alley cat races are huge here.
And when taking a tour of Tahlia’s apartment, you can really tell that her and her boyfriend’s interest in the sport of cycling is huge. Not just because of the large Crescent painting, or the pile of screen prints. But when we move into another room, it becomes more apparent.
Bamboo frames, tires to infinity and a collection of old bottles from various cycling teams. Huge old gears, worn out straps that one day held down leather cycling shoes. Away from all of the paintings and prints, there’s a room filled with bikes. This is a gold mine: there are bikes from the early 20th century to present time. Tahlia shows us around and picks out different things from piles and points of different models. Bob Jackson, Hampsten, some unmarked. Many of the bikes are so entangled in each other that it’s difficult to see what brand they are, or how old they are.
Most of the bikes belong to my boyfriend. Some he has put together himself. We both collect bikes, work with them, I use them in my art. They’re very interesting, especially the really old ones.
Interesting is just the start. But I can’t help but wonder if this is forever? Art can surely be changed; will bikes always be the main focus in Tahlia’s art? The answer I simple.
Well, as long as I’m interested in it, I’ll continue painting bikes.
We say our goodbyes, preparing to head off into the chilly winds and, despite the bitter cold, brightly shining sun. The heavy door closes behind us. The smell of oil and paint still lingering over our heads.