Ellen Frances Tuchman

Artist Statement

"I think it is all a matter of love: The more you love a memory, the stronger and stranger it is." Vladimir Nabokov

The acronym R+R recalls World War 2 —rest and relaxation, or recreation — as well as measures in our daily lives. We remove and reinstall, repair and restore, check respiratory rate, and gauge relative risk.

However, nothing is what it seems.  Ephemera and souvenirs weave associative paths between past and present. An idealized past battles pop culture. Beneath the pretty veneer and couture beading lays some hard truths. Rhett Miller sang of "a paper-doll pleasantness" while I used talismans and double entendres to manage pains still lurking.

My paintings are a counterpoint to mass production with luscious patterning and surface embellishments, immediately throwing them into a conversation about the decorative, beauty, high-low art, women’s handwork, femininity and male potency. I explore thematic conceits and plays-on-words. Many pieces are intentionally sentimental, telling universal stories with paint, sewing, and much ornament. Recycle and reuse, indeed.

Ellen Frances Tuchman
August 2018