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Barcelona-based Tana Latorre believes in the power of community and celebrates diversity, belonging and self-love.
My parents worked for the UN, so we travelled a lot. I spent my childhood in Nairobi in Kenya. Later, I lived in Geneva, Paris and New York. Today, I live in Barcelona. I am glad to have had so many experiences and to have lived in so many places. I feel at home all over the world.
My “aha” moment came at the age of 14, when I visited an exhibition on Henri Cartier-Bresson. It was around that same time that I first saw the portrait of Elizabeth II by Lucian Freud. The unflattering realism of this painting had a huge impact on me. I taught myself to paint by copying the works of great artists like David Hockney and Barbara Kruger. It was always clear to me that a career as an artist is a bumpy road and that not everyone makes it, which is why I studied design in Paris and Barcelona. Design gave me the opportunity to cultivate my creativity while still making a living.
The female body and meditation
Painting, including body painting, is more than a hobby for me. When I paint a woman's body, it is a form of meditation. It fills me with awe and I feel so privileged.
Networks of women are important to me
It is equally important to create environments in which women can develop. Paloma Wool is a multidisciplinary project, an independent label consisting of a permanent team of twelve talented and creative female friends working at the interface of fashion, art and photography.
Beauty is living according to one’s nature
Women are taught to be pleasing. We are conditioned to deny ourselves in many areas of life. With this in mind, it is clear that, for me, Paloma Wool’s promotion of female artists and painting the female form are two sides of the same coin. It is a homage to women. I want to encourage women to feel comfortable in their own skin, to accept their vulnerabilities, to express themselves freely and to recognise their strengths. Beauty comes from self-confidence.
Life needs balance
A long walk on Barcelona’s Montjuïc hill or around Collserola Park has healing powers. Tending to my plants is also a sort of ceremony of self-love and mindfulness. I like to touch their stems, look at their roots, and watch how the flowers change shape and colour.
PHOTOS: Freunde von Freunden