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Painting is silent poetry, and poetry is painting that speaks. Simonides

Leah Tinari

Lives and works in New York, NY


1998 BFA, painting, Rhode Island School of Design
1997 Semester at Instituto de San Miguel de Allende, Mexico


I work in acrylic and gouache on both paper and canvas.

Personal photographs taken with a 35mm camera inspire the imagery in each piece. The photographs that interest me most are the ones that someone else would rip up or erase from their digital camera shortly after they are taken. Not knowing what to expect from the film is exciting to me and many times leads to happy accidents like corrupt composition, disheveled hair, flushed cheeks and red eye. I am also intrigued with the space in a photograph. I often eliminate objects and elements to create location-less expanses, allowing the figures to exist in voids and allow for multiple narratives.

The content and formal elements in my paintings combine to offer an always personal, occasionally caricature-like narrative, addressing and encompassing both the awkwardness and the complexity of the human condition. Although the work is a documentation of my personal experiences, I hope that the images will evoke familiar feelings or create a sense of voyeurism - as if the viewer is peeking into a still from someone else’s life that is utterly foreign to them. My paintings are snippets of time that capture moments and function as a visual diary to create my social realism, a documentation of 30-something contemporary lifestyle and behavior.

My work is a celebration of life. I strive to make paintings of my life, the people and the world around me. I want to create a wonderful and vital dialog between people and art, and between art and life.

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