At 17, Tali Lennox became one of London’s most sought-after models, landing campaigns for Burberry, Topshop, and Acne Studios. But in 2012, the daughter of music icon Annie Lennox and filmmaker Uri Fruchtmann left the UK just as her modeling career was heating up, ditching her hometown to reshape her life as a painter in New York.
“I wanted to start life somewhere totally independently,” recalls Lennox, now 21. “I arrived with two suitcases, no home, and fewer friends than I could count on two hands.” While the transition was tough, she claims, Lennox learned quickly to become self-reliant. Her personal mantra: “‘Follow the light,’” she says. “I have it tattooed on my arm in case I forget.”
Tonight at the Catherine Ahnell gallery in New York City, Lennox’s work comes to fruition with her first-ever solo show. But though the event is a first for the Scottish-Israeli import, making art has always been part of her daily routine. “I can’t remember a time when I didn’t pick up a pencil and get lost in focus—it’s like meditation,” she says. “I’d get in trouble for completely cementing my school books in doodles. When I create I feel my tension release, I’m connected with myself, and the high I feel after completing a piece I’m happy with is a feeling I can’t find anywhere else.” But the highs don’t come without lows. “The biggest challenge artists struggle with is self-doubt,” says Lennox. “There are exhausting ups and downs that have you thinking, ‘I’m amazing’ and then, ‘I’m shit’ ridiculously rapidly.”
Spoiler alert: Lennox’s art is not shit, as you’ll see when you click through the gallery above. Then stay tuned for POPULAR’s inaugural print issue (yep!) where you can read a deeper interview with the rising art star, and see even more photos shot by the incomparable Tim Barber.