Talhaoui says that if he wasn’t an artist he would be a psychologist or a philosopher or he’d move to the Brazilian rainforest. Artist Moley Talhaoui didn’t speak until he was four years old—a fact that worried his mother and the psychologists that she took him to, until they realized he was already including complex dimensions in his drawings: Talhaoui wasn’t struggling to communicate, he was just more interested in doing so with pictures than with words. “I’ve always been like that,” he says, shrugging. From introverted child to self-taught painter, Talhaoui continues to channel his inner emotional state into a creative outpouring. Born in Sweden to Moroccan parents, his connection to two dramatically different cultures plays out in work that is arresting in its use of graphic imagery yet always restrained. Large canvases are covered with jarring depictions of skeletons and distorted human forms; swathes of color are contained by expanses of heavy black. “There’s the totally free side from Morocco and the This story is from Kinfolk Issue Twenty-Nine Buy Now Related Stories Arts & Culture Issue 47 Correction: The Starving Artist Bad times don’t always make for good art. Arts & Culture Issue 47 Rachid Koraïchi Meet the Algerian artist building cemeteries. Arts & Culture Issue 47 Simone Bodmer-Turner Meet the artist throwing clay a curveball. Arts & Culture Issue 46 Studio Visit: Yoko Kubrick In the studio with a sculptor of monuments and mythologies. Arts & Culture Issue 46 Peer Review Upcycle designer Laurs Kemp on the influence of mid-century salvage artist Louise Nevelson. Arts & Culture Issue 43 Space Invaders Room dividers from a Roman studio.