Model-turned-actress Rebecca Dayan has sketched since she was a child, but it wasn’t until recently that the chic polymath began taking her art more seriously. Two years ago, Dayan started painting watercolors, often using her clique of fashionable friends—like model Tali Lennox and DJ Alix Brown—as muses. This month, Dayan takes up residence at gallerist Catherine Ahnell’s live-in SoHo studio in the lead up to her first solo show, which opens September 8th. Here, the artist offers a sneak peek.
“A lot of the first things I did were self-portraits. It’s not because I’m so obsessed with painting myself, but more because I had an idea about an image I wanted and I could take it instantly.”
“It’s such a great opportunity to have this much space in New York. I usually work in my apartment. It’s nice to be able to leave everything up.”
“I like watercolor because it is easy to travel with—you can pack up and bring it everywhere.”
“Drawing was always something I did more for myself.”
“I was never raised religiously, but the world that we live in is a symbolic world. Words are symbols as well. For this show, I began focusing on how historical and contemporary ideas of ecstasy have manifested themselves physically and in the visual world.”
“I use the paper as light. It’s all about the coloring and shading.”
Rebecca Dayan at her studio in New York. Photo by Charlie Rubin.