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 51 Emily Gernild The Danish painter breathing new life into an old medium. Arts & Culture Food Issue 51 Imogen Kwok The artist takes food styling quite literally, creating accessories out of fruits and vegetables. Arts & Culture Issue 49 Karin Mamma Andersson Inside the moody, mysterious world of Sweden’s preeminent painter. Arts & Culture Issue 49 Amalie Smith The Danish arts writer finding clarity between the lines. Arts & Culture Issue 49 Studio Visit: Heidi Gustafson A cabin in the Cascade Mountains houses a hermetic artist—and her extraordinary world of natural pigments. Arts & Culture Issue 48 Jordan Casteel The acclaimed painter of people—and now plants.