TR Ericsson


nicotine on panel
8 x 10 inches

…A lot of my work whether it’s cast in ash, or nicotine, or is purely photographic it all inhabits this zone between being and not being…More hovering, more loss captured in a fragile deteriorating piece of paper. – TR Ericsson

The faint image of an elementary school class photograph is stained into paper in TR Ericsson’s Browning. Using smoldering cigarettes and the resulting nicotine stains as a means to transfer imagery, Ericsson removes the sentimentality of the found family photograph and imbues the piece with a haunting, spectral quality. The nicotine staining technique is in reference to his mother, who smoked inside her home, leaving the walls yellowed when she died. The work is part of his ongoing series Crackle & Drag, a multi-media archival project that investigates the intersecting lives of his mother and father and his relationship with his family, as Ericsson attempts to learn more about his mother and why she committed suicide at 57. It is, for the artist, “an attempt to reclaim her life, and even my life after her death by way of art.”