Nick Taggart’s home is nestled on a verdant hillside in Glassell Park, and every window frames a magnificent view of the garden that surrounds it. His second floor studio looks south, but vegetation blocks out the sensation that the murky cauldron of Los Angeles exists beyond. The visual textures of this sanctuary have long fed the muse of Taggart, an artist who has exercised his prerogative to draw and draw only—a tough but resolute choice to make, especially in an art world that seems to reward scale, flashy installations and selfie-bait.
Taggart’s personal practice of drawing (which he occasionally puts aside to collaborate with artist/spouse Laura Cooper) has lead to multiple series of diverse and intricate works, all of which tackle the gap between observation and representation. Taggart’s enormous technical facility initially led him into a dual life as a fine artist and an illustrator; now, he fearlessly intermingles these two disciplines to create a unique hybrid style. His latest drawings, Veronica Lake and Descanso, are breakout pieces, where the recognizable and the inchoate blur together. The startlingly original composition of Veronica Lake, which sprawls over two large sheets, is mimetic of the content: water, attenuated biological forms and clouds cascade in a melting tumble of forms that carves a path through the white emptiness of the paper. Eliminating the need for a template or formula, Taggart’s drawings grow rhizome-like, inspired and framed by the beauty just outside his door. More info at www.nicktaggart.com.