One Ocean — Seven Strawless Seas will mark American artist, Taylor Slater’s first solo show. On display at the Montauk Beach House starting Friday, August 10, each piece is highly personal, showcasing the artist’s lifelong admiration of her piece’s focus – the ocean.
We recently spoke with Slater about her first solo show, partnering with Lonely Whale, and more.
When did your love affair with the sea begin?
TS: My love affair started when I was super young. I grew up in South Florida hanging out on the beach; I see the beach as a second home. As a kid my friends and I would love to go hangout at the beach everyday if we could. Some of my best memories were made on a beach somewhere in the world. The beach really keeps me grounded and reminds me of who I am.
At what point did you decide to use that adoration and highlight it in your work?
TS: A little over a year ago is when I really decided to start painting the oceans and beaches I’ve visited and dreamed of. After a few months of being in a depressed mindset and state, I decided to start painting to help me stay fixed on something positive and creative. Initially painting was for my mental state; now it’s my career!
Tell us a bit about the works featured in One Ocean – Seven Strawless Seas?
TS: I truly poured myself into each piece in this collection. I want the peace and hope I feel from painting these pieces to transfer through each painting to the viewer. I hope everyone really feels the tranquility they’d feel if they were watching a shore-break on the beach or diving underwater to discover a coral reef.
And what does the exhibition’s title, One Ocean – Seven Strawless Seas, refer to?
TS: I’ve always wanted everything I do to positively affect the world. Leaving a positive impact is something I find extremely important, and I’m so grateful to have this opportunity to team up with the Lonely Whale. After deciding to team up with them, I chose the title One Ocean – Seven Strawless Seas because I really wanted something that pointed to a plastic free ocean. All of my paintings are inspired by a plastic free ocean; if I had to paint all of the trash I find in the ocean, my paintings would be completely different. Overall, I chose this title to raise awareness and point towards the eminent threat our ocean is facing today.
This will be your first solo exhibition. What does it mean to you that it’s a seaside locale?
TS: If my show was anywhere else besides a seaside locale it would feel so wrong! Montauk is somewhere that has inspired me so much through its beautiful landscapes and incredible art history. It means everything to me that my first solo art show is seaside because the ocean is what inspires me everyday to keep painting.
The exhibition also offers a charitable component. Could you speak a bit about that and why did you select Lonely Whale as the beneficiary?
TS: The Lonely Whale and I are teaming up to raise awareness and funds to go towards their strawless ocean campaign. I am auctioning off a piece of my collection and 100 percent of the proceeds are going to the Lonely Whale’s fight for a plastic free ocean. I chose to work with them because not only do I love everything they fight for, but I love that they are really making a difference instead of just talking about making a difference.
An opening reception for One Ocean – Seven Strawless Seas will be held on Friday, August 10 from 6 to 9 p.m. The evening will also include a silent auction in support of the Lonely Whale.
The Montauk Beach House is located at 55 Elmwood Avenue in Montauk. For more information, visit thembh.com.