The Talking Tapestries are an evolving series of animated paintings, initiated in New York in 2015. The tactile surface of the painting is cut into shapes that allows a performer positioned behind the painting to interact with the viewer across the openings, bringing the art to life and prompting interactions with public.

In these times, our experience of a "traditional" art-work such as a painting, is mediated and intercepted by a digital device. In museum/gallery settings, visitors record and capture art as they face it, using their personal computers, moving swiftly, taking in more information with a lessened quality of presence.

Talking Tapestries challenge the art viewing public to slow down. The paintings literally, physically, beckon the viewer, to step forward into the intimate, breathing space of an art piece. The viewer is invited to pose questions, discuss theories of subjectivity and objectivity, and quite simply, to play, all the while becoming more aware, on a subliminal level, of their experience connecting with art in general.

Talking Tapestries are inspired by an old-world, uncanny, Cocteau-ian enchantment of transformation and surprise. Their magic is about startling the viewer into a new dimension, where rules are in flux, where everything is animate and brimming with curiosity.

We still make paintings. We still need painting as a practice. The Talking Tapestries can also be considered a project to champion the magic, the simplicity and the wisdom of painting.

An anecdote:

At the Spring/Break Art Show, where I was performing as "the Oracle at Painted Sphinx," I had the amusing encounter with a male art-collector who was so enthusiastic about the painting, and a little drunk, that he got up in my face and kissed me hard on the mouth, without asking permission. In that moment, I recognized the "risk" I was taking in presenting myself in such a vulnerable spotlight. I was also fascinated by the experience of feeling objectified as an art-object for sale at a fair, that so happened to be a painting of a nude, and as a woman in the flesh, all at once, by a man who may have justified his behavior due to his purchasing power as a collector. I was almost too fascinated to get that pissed about it, and laughed. So many thoughts bubbled to the surface!

What is it about a veil between two human beings that can so dramatically alter the terms of our interactions? How does the element of disguise and role-play affect the candor of these exchanges? What are we more likely to reveal, admit, express about ourselves when in the presence of mystery, in this case, a painting with holes and an unseen voice? How does a "living" painting mirror the viewer?

"The Flourish": A Talking Tapestry from DMZL

Jade Fusco (DMZL) performs through her painting, allowing the static art non-entity an opportunity for self-expression and actualization.

"Self Help: The Oracle of Interface"

A Talking Tapestry aka painting animated by artist DMZL