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Gary Taxali talks about his pictures and favorite books

Readersvoice.com aims to give people a few good reading tips. You might want to check out some previous issues, too, for some more reading ideas.Gary Taxali creates pictures that look like the covers of strange, old, neglected books found in an attic and dusted off.Or maybe an illustration or advertisement from some bizarre 1920s magazine.They feature quirky cartoon characters screen-printed onto the covers of old books, or onto old or handmade paper.And he uses collage, adding bits of typography from magazines and journals from the 1920s and 30s. He also adds paint to make the pictures look old.I asked Gary Taxali about his art work and his favorite books.

Born in Chandigarh, India in 1968, Gary Taxali and his family migrated to Toronto, Canada, the following year.
He has been drawing since around the age of four, and he graduated from The Ontario College of Art in 1991.
He started work as a professional illustrator and his illustrations have appeared in magazines like Time, Rolling Stone, Esquire, Newsweek, Entertainment Weekly, Fortune, Men’s Journal, The New York Times, and Business Week.
Many of his illustrations have won awards.
He began exhibiting his personal work in the late 1990s.
He has numerous other irons in the fire.
He lectures and teaches illustration at art schools like the Sheridan College and The Ontario College of Art and Design.
He is writing and illustrating a children’s book; has had a toy manufactured; and he said he would like to get into animation.
His art is in collections like The Victoria and Albert Museum (London), and The Royal Ontario Museum.


Before reading this interview, you might want to take a look at Gary Taxali’s website to see some of his pictures, and his new toy.
READERSVOICE.COM: I was just wondering about your surname Taxali. An Indian guy I know said you can tell where someone is from in India by their second name, but that he hadn’t heard of Taxali.
GARY TAXALI: Yeah, most Indians haven’t. It was changed, I think, about 300 years ago.
My ancestor invented a coin that was difficult to counterfeit, so he was named Taxali, by the maharana, which means maker of money, maker of the mint.
So, and apparently there’s a place in New Delhi called the Taxali Gates, I think..It’s actually in Lahore, uh, yeah, and I bought my name and garytaxali.com and taxali.com.
I bought it off a sheik in Pakistan a couple of years ago for $200.
He wanted to turn it into a porn site, because I guess this Taxali place is also, I donno, he said something about in New Delhi there’s a red light district called Taxali.

RV: And your parents, I was wondering were they artists at all? Because there was a quote from your father who said once “Tv sucks creativity”. I was wondering if he was an artist.

GT: My father was a…he passed away.. he was an artist, he didn’t do it for a living.
He knew how to draw and paint, write poetry.
He used to help me when I was a little kid drawing animals, cowboys and things like that.
And I used to watch him paint sometimes, but he had like the opposite job.
He was a government worker doing road specifications for tractors, vehicles, repair roads. He worked for the Ministry of Transportation.
RV: And why did your parents decide to move to Canada?
GT: Back in the sixties… I was even born in India, my whole family was, I mean my immediate family.
In the sixties, Canada had an open immigration policy and my parents thought it would be a good thing to do… as well as the fact that my mom has a lot of family spread out over North America.. She had a couple of brothers already in the United States.