ISRAELI artist Tali Almog may not have lived in her country for more than 25 years, but she still contributes to causes in her homeland.
Miami-based Tali has donated her paintings to various charities which benefit Israeli soldiers, as well as wounded veterans and families of fallen soldiers.
Tali has helped raise money for Friends of the Israel Defence Forces and Shuzz, a foundation that provides new shoes for children in poverty-stricken areas around the world.
She has no time, either, for those who want to boycott the Jewish state.
Tali said: “It hurts my feelings in a lot of way.
“Israel has produced a lot of smart and intelligent people who have created so many beautiful things over the past 70 years.
“These people who want boycotts do not realise that most of the technology they use comes from Israel.
“A lot of it has to do with antisemitism and jealousy.”
Raised in Tel Aviv, her love affair with art began at a young age as she was already drawing at the age of five.
“I was always fascinated by colour and shape,” Tali recalled. “I think art is in my DNA and that was how I was born. It is like my therapy.”
After finishing secondary school, Tali moved to Los Angeles where she studied privately for four years under a professor who was on the staff at Jerusalem’s Bezalel Academy of Art.
She has also lived in New York and Chicago, but feels most at home in Miami.
Tali explained: “Because of the Hispanic culture in Miami, with all the culture of family and food, it feels much more like Israel.
“In LA, everyone moves there to try and be an actor and they don’t have much family around.”
Miami has an even more of a familial feel for Tali, as her twin sister, Tami, lives in the same area, while her brother, Assaf, is a well-known hairdresser in the Florida city.
Tali believes that her art is a reflection of her sincerity and intimacy, infused with a powerful, spiritual and timeless nature.
Tali added: “I have a love affair with painting — it is my oxygen.
“It is as much a part of me as is my hand, my eyes or any other part of my physical body.
“Life is full of colours and my paintings reflect my passion for life, the human spirit and the good that exists within each and every one of us.
“I believe we have many soulmates, and painting is one of mine.”
Inspired by artists such as Jackson Pollock, Tali paints up to seven hours a day.
Her most expensive piece of work sold for around $18,000.
“I want to touch people’s souls and make them smile when they look at my paintings,” said Tali, who is married to businessman Michael Minkoff.
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