Talia Greene, "Observation/Preservation (Fig. 2.2)", 2007, archival pigment print

Talia Greene, “Observation/Preservation (Fig. 2.2)”, 2007, archival pigment print

Talia Greene


I am fascinated by our struggle to impose order on our bodies and an unruly world. Whether depicting common insects, absurd facial hairstyles, or a filigree of dead flowers and hair, my work is united around an exploration of that tension between nature and our desire for control. I find a window into that tension through the exploration of related dichotomies, in the merging of sensuality and sterility, entropy and design, containment and vulnerability, control and subjection.

In the ongoing series of prints entitled Observation/Preservation, two images of a bug are juxtaposed. In one, the bug sits in an ambiguous place between life and death. In the other, the bug has been dismembered and casually preserved under tape. The image of the whole bug is empathetic, emphasizing its vulnerability and fragile beauty, and highlighting details that encourage the viewer to look closer. At the same time, there is a visceral, childlike curiosity suggested by the taped bug part that is in turns playful and disturbing. At first glance, the preservation method might call to mind a scientific slide. Closer inspection reveals a mundane piece of tape, along with stray lint and dust it picked up with the bug part. The series brings the practice of collecting and observation out of the realm of objective science and into daily life, highlighting darker and more personal motivations.

Talia Greene (Philadelphia, PA) is a multi-media artist who works primarily with photo-based digital printing and drawing. Her work investigates human relationships to the natural in our own bodies, and in the world around us. She often uses things from nature as her subject to create images (both recognizable and ambiguous) that explore the experience of being examined, contained, or controlled. She received her BA in art with departmental honors from Wesleyan University in 1998 and her MFA from Mills College in 2002, during which she received a number of awards including the Elkind Fellowship, and a Graduate Research Mini Grant. Her work has been exhibited nationally at venues including the Contemporary Museum (Baltimore, MD), the International Print Center (NYC), Redux Center for Contemporary Art (Charleston, SC), Spaces (Cleveland, OH), The Museum of Contemporary Art (Sonoma, CA), and internationally at expositions for digital art in Cuba and Mexico. Greene currently teaches as an Adjunct Professor at Drexel University and as a Lecturer at University of the Arts.