December Mostra 2019 / Meet the artists… Tal Regev

As we approach the December Mostra, we are taking a closer look at the individual practices of our resident artists. The second interview is of Tal Regev, our Derek Hill Foundation Scholar.


You came to Rome with the aim of researching ecstasy in Italian art. You are especially interested in the sculpture by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, The Ecstasy of Saint Teresa. How are you developing your work in Rome in relation to this subject matter?

In my research about ecstasy in Italian art I am specifically drawn to the fall as a tactical response to an emergency. I am interested in the attempt of Teresa to find refuge from the most silent symptoms such as fatigue, insomnia and fainting fits which she notes in her writings. The angel pierces through her heart with a golden spear and when he pulls it out she sinks into ecstasy.

The Ecstasy of Saint Teresa, Bernini

The Ecstasy of Saint Teresa, Gian Lorenzo Bernini, 1645-52

I am interested in the realms that one falls into in ecstasy and how very subtle violences between individuals could push towards losing the boundaries of the physical body. In my research I’m specifically looking for notes of fracture and violence in Italian art. I am interested to bring those elements into my work as a silence which underpins everything.

Rapid shifts, 2018, oil on canvas, 190 x 160 cm

Tal Regev, Rapid Shifts, 2018. Oil on Canvas 190 x 160 cm

The shape of a snake recurs often in your paintings. Does this figure have a specific meaning in your practice?

The snake is a part of my talismanic series Rapid Shifts: swirling snakes leave the body and pull out information deeply embedded in the cells. They cut cords, and detoxify the blood cells. They operate as a healing element in my work, as a counterpoint to the personal experiences that leak through bodies.

Tal’s work will be exhibited alongside other resident artists in the December Mostra. The opening will take place on Friday 6 December 18.30-21.00. Opening hours 16.30-19.00 until Saturday 14 December 2019, closed Sundays.

Interview by Marta Pellerini (BSR Fine Arts Adviser).

Viscera, 2017, oil on canvas, 170 x 150 cm

Tal Regev, Viscera, 2017. Oil on Canvas 170 x 150 cm