ANNA TAS
OVERVIEW
INFO

Anna Tas is a British born artist, who currently lives in Philadelphia, where she graduated with honours from the University of the Arts. Anna’s work has been described as rather ambiguous and conceptual, allowing the audience to interpret what they see in their own way, as well as stimulating discussion about how we see and how images persist in our minds. “I always feel rather uncomfortable talking directly about my work – not necessarily because I’m worried what people will think of me, but rather more that I enjoy the dialogue that comes from a viewer who is seeing the work from their point of view, rather than mine, someone who has no preconceived idea of what it is that I am trying to talk about […] I have no answers, no judgment, just questions. I am drawn to looking at why we think what we think, how we develop and learn to decode what we see and assign certain values (for want of a better word) without being really conscious that this is what we do. I am part of something, yet also apart from it – observing, watching, questioning, and wondering. Why? What? How?”

Anna’s work is held in private collections around the world, including New York, Miami, London, Amsterdam, Rome, New Dehli and Hong Kong.

ARTWORK

What defines us as people – Gender? Race? Sexual Orientation? Culture? How do we identify ourselves and those around us, and how do we form our responses and preconceptions? This series of images seek to provoke the viewer to question these issues within themselves, questioning how exactly we learn and form opinions about the society we live in.


What is real and yet surreal? How do we recognise and identify with images? What connections have we unconsciously stored in our memory? These pieces not only reference famous Magritte works, but also my own previous explorations involving paintings and icons.


What is beauty? What lengths do we go to achieve an ideal? Is it attainable? Obtainable? Is it fragile? Gender or age specific? Has the ideal changed over time? Dictate by society and culture, or more personal? The idea of beauty represents different things to different people – from the physical to more emotional traits, from the manufactured to the natural world. Our vision of beauty and how we confront it is intriguing, inspiring and alarming, and begs the question: does everything come with a cost?


Combining what at first seem disparate thoughts on the nature of art, human development, and the challenges (both physical and mental) facing women in today’s world. Impossible Goddess reflects my own personal thoughts – leaping from the female-centric early religions and artworks, through classical interpretations of what it is to be a woman, and how modern society often leads to more questions than answers. Themes of gender representation, the real and imagined, and exploration of paintings and icons reoccur throughout my work.


Life. Death. In my mind they seem so opposite, yet at the same time, so close, separated by such a fragile margin. A moment. Inspired by mythology, as well as referencing personal experiences and current global challenges, Divine Intervention creates a space to reflect – effortless yet serious, beautiful yet sad.


Although at first glance, this new series seems like a departure for me (and perhaps it is, visually), it actually shares many common themes with my other work – the ambiguity of meaning, how we, as individuals decode and interpret what we see (what that reveals about us as much as the work), and the nature of beauty, playing on scope and scale. The Abstraction Of Memory explores how our past experiences inform our present, how we interpret what we see, and what that reveals about ourselves. Memories distort and evolve, and are fluid in nature, and this is echoed by the pieces as we interact with them.

VIDEO
PRESS

Art Education:

08/06 – 06/08  University of the Arts, Philadelphia, BFA. Hons. Photography                                   

01/05 – 05/06  Community College of Philadelphia, AAS in Photographic Imaging
Transferred after two years into the BFA programme at the University of the Arts.

09/03 – 04/04  Fotoacademie Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Foundation course in Photography.


Art/Community:           

Having a background in marketing, I have donated my time to help several local arts organisations, including Philagrafika, Inliquid, and The Print Center, as well as serving as a panellist for the Philadelphia Cultural Fund and lecturing on my work and the lenticular process at the Fleisher Art Memorial.

Selected Press/Exhibitions/Events: 

Art New York, 03 – 07 May 2017, Pier 94, New York, New York
Art Miami , 29 November – 4 December 2016, The Art Miami Pavilion, Midtown, Wynwood, Miami, Florida
Art New York + CONTEXT03 – 08 May 2016, Pier 94, New York, New York
Art Silicon Valley/San Francisco8 – 11 October 2015, San Mateo, California
Virtual Still & Still Movement, 4 September – 31 October 2015, Silicon Fine Art, Philadelphia. A dual show with my work and that of Tim Portlock, hosted by Silicon as part of Panorama 2015: Image-Based Art in the 21st Century, a city-wide festival featuring over 40 galleries, celebrating the photographic image and its expansive role in contemporary mediums. 


“All Things Considered, Collected works by Anna Tas”

By Sabrina DeTurk, Ph.D. Assistant Professor, College of Arts and Creative Enterprises, Zayed University, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Writing about her preference for listening to others respond to her work rather than directing a viewer to a certain interpretation, Anna Tas says that “I enjoy the dialogue that comes from a viewer who is seeing the work from their point of view, rather than mine, someone who has no preconceived idea of what it is that I am trying to talk about.” This is a refreshing approach in a contemporary art world that often seems to prize work that denies dialogue with the viewer, either through explicit strategies of exclusion or through a didactic approach that dictates a particular, often political, interpretation of the artwork. In her new series, Impossible Goddesses (2014), Tas offers an immediately identifiable lens through which to view the work – that of gender and ideals of female beauty – while at the same time hinting at other possible viewing strategies and interpretive channels, such as the history of art, ideas of mutability and change and mass-produced consumer culture. In these images, the classic Barbie doll is posed against a simple grey background, draped in white tulle and dramatically lit to emphasize her curves and features. At first glance, particularly at the photographs of Impossible Goddesses #1 and #2, the viewer is confronted with an idealized form of female beauty rendered in molded plastic and given a grace and gravity through Tas’ presentation.


The Abstraction Of Memory

Although at first glance, this new series seems like a departure for me (and perhaps it is, visually), it actually shares many common themes with my other work – the ambiguity of meaning, how we, as individuals decode and interpret what we see (what that reveals about us as much as the work), and the nature of beauty, playing on scope and scale.

I was drawn to investigating Rosharch, and his famous inkblot tests; how the tests were constructed to reveal personality traits of the viewer – drawing meaning from an image that was seemingly abstract. John Berger’s seminal collection of essays, “Ways of Seeing”, explore how we decode images and seek meaning, and rereading his words helped develop my ideas.


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