Fahren Feingold initially made her mark on the world of high fashion while working in design studios at the likes of Ralph Lauren and J.Crew before a career-changing moment. The Parsons School of Design graduate is now one of the leading artists in fashion illustration, having collaborated with the likes of Nick Knight and Vogue Arabia. Through her depictions of women – often bearing heavy kohled eyes and crimson pouts – the artist explores femininity through minimalistic watercolor brush strokes. LA-based Feingold exclusively shares her insights into her work ahead of her first solo exhibit in NYC at The Untitled Space, curated by Indira Cesarine, from September 26 through to October 8.
Here Feingold and Vogue Arabia talk CV turning-points, Middle Eastern travel, and provocative paintings.
Which pieces from your collection transcend different cultures in appeal and aesthetic?
“I think so many of my paintings transcend different cultures as they are unanimously about women and what connects each of us: emotionally, personally, femininely, historically. All women feel linked in some way or another, which is why I paint the female form.”
Which artist or designers do you appreciate and why?
“I love the work of artist Raqib Shaw. His paintings are so intricately detailed with the most amazing materials and colors, all the while telling such dramatic stories that create a carnival of characters and scenes clashing across canvases.
I’m also loving what designer Virgil Abloh is doing at Off-White. I think the collection is amazingly diverse and unique while still maintaining his point of view. The women’s clothing feels graphic and athletic but still feminine.”
What is top of your playlist when you work?
“Right now I’m obsessed with St. Vincent’s song ‘Los Angeles‘, I love the artist Leikeli47, and my friend, Kacy Hill, makes music so deep I can get lost in it forever.”
What are the three things on your bedside table right now?
“Lavender oil, silk eye mask, rosewater mist – all help me to hydrate, relax and get in the sleepy time mood.”
What three things are always in your handbag?
“Fresh Sugar Lip Wand –I always have dry lips! Nars Red Square Lip Pencil, which I can also use as blush in a pinch. Stevia liquid sweetener, a healthy alternative to sugar, I put it in my coffee and tea, since I’m addicted to caffeine.”
Do you travel much in the Middle East? And if so where do you go?
“I haven’t been traveling much anywhere lately, but my last big trip was to Istanbul. I absolutely fell in love with that city, so much that I extended my trip while I was there.”
As you first solo exhibit, where does this rank in a list of turning points in your career?
“Having a solo show has been a dream of mine ever since I was young. I always believed such an awesome event to be so unattainable. I still can’t believe it’s happening. I’ve worked very hard at this passion, and this event encourages me to keep going, no matter how exhausting the process. Just when you get to the place you wanted, you must bear the burden of all those fruits, they can be a lot to carry all at once.
Doing this show forced me to work on a much more sizable scale than ever before. I feel most proud of these large pieces, where I pushed myself out of my comfort zone. The nature of watercolors can be limiting in size, and so experimenting bigger was quite difficult while still maintaining all the same techniques I use on a much smaller proportion.”
When you see your work displayed on scale like this, does it inspire you to evolve your working process?
“I like to think of my work as ever evolving and constantly changing. The more I work, the more my work expands in new directions. The difficulty as an artist is to try and maintain some consistency throughout the process, and not lose my own direction. I often look back at my very first pieces, and see how far I have come – and try to recapture characteristics from those earlier periods.”
What’s in the pipeline for you next?
“I have a group show coming up with SHOWstudio this fall in London.”
Fahren Feingold’s first solo exhibit opens on September 26th up to October 8th, with the reception opening taking place at 6pm-9pm on September 27th, curated by Indira Cesarine at The Untitled Space, New York. For more information visit Feingold’s website here.