Artist Conversations: Art at Home and in Life with Talita Cabral Studios and Alex Tea
When you walk into the home of Talita and Alex you feel at home. They have their living room full of greenery and well kept plants. They have an open kitchen with a huge island, colorful dishes, and interesting food. Talita’s studio takes of the entire wall next to the kitchen and intrigues the eye. Following is Alex’s music room with as many instruments that can fit and then their bedroom. They have a full backyard where the natural dying of garments happen.
Who are they? Talita Cabral and Alex Tea are a power artist couple who work together in every aspect of their lives. Meeting miles away from Jersey City, they are bring art to the local community. They met when Alex was touring with one of his bands and fell in love in 2015. A long distance relationship followed for a year. He learned to speak Brazilian Portuguese and she moved here. On the day before our interview, they got married. Originally this was going to be two separate interviews, however as I began to write this and learned that Talita was the creative director for the music video, Amulet, from Alex’s latest project, Neon Sine; and Alex is Talita's studio assistant, I knew we needed to write them together.
We first spoke with Alex.
Alex always felt like he was in “cultural limbo being the son of political refugee immigrants.” He was born in Russia and moved here when he was three. Brazil provided roots in culture, history, and language and was brought there in 2003 for Capoeira. He went back for an exchange program in college and again multiple times there after. He began teaching Capoeira “in the states under my teacher Mestre Glauber Fernandes, and co-administering the school, Arts United CAPOEIRA since he moved back to Brazil in ’09.” He has met and befriended many great musicians in his travels there and has a small but solid fan base for his multiple music projects.
What are his musical projects - Kiwi was started in 2003 with Vera Sousa, a Jersey City Local. Over the years it has been reorganized and currently they are working on separate projects. Melo is comprised of the core trio of Ramsey Norman, Steve Capecci, who were the drummer and bassist of Kiwi since 2009 and 2012, along with Alex. “The stripped-down arrangement gives us a blank canvas to showcase our songwriting and how we play off one another to build our sound. The audience gets a look at the skeleton of the style we’ve developed together over the years.”
He also have several ongoing studio projects driven by his diverse musical ideas that allowed him to approach instrumentation, arrangement, orchestration from many different angles. “I have a collaboration with my friend and co-producer Klaus Sena in Sao Paulo, called ‘Orquestra Raiz’, a fusion of Brazilian and Latin-American rhythm and melody with reggae, folk, blues, and soul. We put out an album last year on YBrecords (Sao Paulo) which featured musicians and singers from both here in the U.S. and in Brazil; recorded remotely and made possible by the wonders of technology.” And now his newest project Neon Sine.
His studio according to him is a “simple set up that allows me to track myself and or a couple people at a time; for full band recordings I go to a couple choice local places. I use a mixture of acoustic instruments and electronics, synths and voice and I have an array of musical toys and random percussion instruments.”
He was brought to Jersey City in 2005 when his friends and then girlfriend moved here. While, he may have been brought to Jersey City because of a girl, he convinced a woman to come to Jersey City all the way from Brazil.
Talita is a 33-year-old Brazilian artist-artisan, fashion designer, teacher, nature lover, and urban witch, and founder of Las Palomas Studio, now Talita Cabral Studio (Instagram page here) and recent transfer from Sao Paulo. She runs her own studio and hope she can drops she can focus on it full time in the near future. “I started the studio with the purpose of facilitating my ability to create diverse types of work, using a variety of materials and mediums. I think my love of nature is evident in all my work; I’m dedicated to applying all I’ve learned, and continue to learn, to all that inspires me—and hopefully other people too!”
She didn’t always think she was going to do art as her career. In 2001, she was on track to do Biology at the Federal University of Rio Grande Do Norte, but instead I returned to Sao Paulo to study Fashion Design At FMU and Visual Arts at Anhembi Morumbi University.
She says her grandmother is one of the greatest artistic influences in her life, “she taught me a lot about sewing, knitting, models, vintage clothes (she had a little vintage store), and also about herbs and plants, how to dye clothes, how to work with my hands …. she is my inspiration forever. Being exposed to such diverse artists when I was in school got me hooked on working in mixed disciplines.” She has worked for a number of creative companies in Brazil from C&A, Accessorize, and Farm, as well as in print shops and fashion design brands. She spent the last two years, “at the eminent ceramics artist Heloisa Galvão Studio in Sao Paulo, where I worked as the production assistant for Milena Liberman, a ceramicist and designer; there I was exposed to lots of techniques and ideas that continue to inform my work today—combining stamp-work with ceramics, for example.”
They are very present in the Lafayette community. When we were doing the interviews for the Bergen/Lafayette Series and meet someone from the area, I always say everyone I know, and people love Alex and Talita. Talita's work has been shown locally in Deep Space Gallery/HIVE JC.
They work and live together and it is evident it is a harmonious union. Each helping the other create physical art, as Alex is Talita's studio assistant. "He helps me be more productive and is really creative. We are always creating new idea and pieces together and he brings me a lot of inspiration everyday." Or Talita being the creative director for Neon Sine's video Amulet, which we can not wait to see the full video and where this project takes them.
We hope you follow them on their journey of artist discovery that is continually changing and evolving. We can not wait to see what they come up with next.
Photos provided by Love Your Light Photos and Talita Cabral Studios