Inside the "Relentless" Series

     Tara Tayan sits on a large couch where her feet don’t reach the floor. Her clothes are light, fluttery, whose colors that are cohesive and muted. She has an inquiring stare and a bright, sunny smile.  Her eyes are large, brown and observant. Even though she is the subject of an interview, there’s a sense that she is taking note of what’s before her, taking mental notes on form and space.
     A recent graduate of Tyler School of Art, with a degree in photography, her latest collection is entitled “Relentless” and will be featured at  The National in Old City.

So, how long have you been in the photography game?

Eight years. 

What influenced you to get into photography?

Well, I come from a family of artists. At first I thought I would go into something else – some unartistic thing. But then I got into photography and I thought, “ Yup, I’m an artist too.”

What is it about photography you love more than other art forms?

Well for me the center of my art has been film. Like cyanotypes and forms like that. The process of film has been an obsession for years; it allows me to use my hands and I love using my hands to make a product.

Wait, film is still being made?

(Laughs) Yes, it is.  You can get it on Ebay and Amazon. It’s not hard.

Your collection is entitled “Relentless”. What’s in the name?

The overall theme of the show is about breaking free from the self. Specifically, there are two selves. One self is you, the true you. The other self is a mask, a sort of semi-human thing that keeps you bound. It’s a demon self that is relentless is keeping you bound. The true self is always trying to be free of that.

You’re fairly exposed in this collection. That is to say, you’re nude. Where you reluctant to share your work at first?

Yes.  I’ve never done work like this before.  I was completely nude, just the paint and lotion solution covered me, and that was it. This was my senior project so my classmates would see me like this. But then, after a while, I thought, “Fuck it. This is my last year.”

What should your audience take away from “Relentless”?

Understanding and acceptance.

Acceptance of what?

Inner peace and themselves.


Interview by Eric Jenkins



"Self Portrait," Medium Format, 2012

"Self Portrait," Medium Format, 2012