I have admired Talya Epstein’s work since I was first exposed to it back in Boston. Talya was a student of the Boston Conservatory‘s dance department while I was enrolled as a theater major there. We quickly became friends due to our similar interests and common feelings of social unrest. Though she grew up in New England and I grew up clear on the other side of the country, our quick disenchantment with the city of our residency became a basis for our bond and we learned to rely on each other for support, inspiration and a balancing of sanity. Now that we both live in New York City, very little has changed in terms of our relationship towards one another. The city we are in is a different one and our problems with it differ from those of Boston, but our friendship and communication in relationship to all things art and life (life and art?) still come from the same place, even if they now they have grown into something larger and rarer.
Talya as an artist and Talya as a person are obviously two different things, though Talya comes closer than anyone I have ever met to merging both beings as one. There is no hypocrisy that flows from the art she makes into the life that she lives. Some things are more exaggerated, stranger or more whimsical in her work as an artist, but these are factors that are not unusual in terms of art vs. life.
Talya’s newest work, showgame, which premiers this Thursday and Friday at “The Tank” in Manhattan is unquestionably her best work yet. Having the privilege of seeing her process grow over the years and watching showgame progress over the course of its evolution have been some of the more satisfying artistic indulgences of my life, though I must make it clear I do not simply say this because Talya is my friend. From the very beginning of her time in my life, Talya has been an original. I have yet to meet anyone who thinks as outside of the box as Talya does, and this quality is seen more and more clearly through the work that she makes. showgame, is no exception.