TR Ericsson at Shaheen Gallery

TR Ericsson, Prisoner of Love, powdered pigment on paper, 56×76 (22×30 inch.), 2018

TR Ericsson will open a new exhibition titled “Blue” at Shaheen in Cleveland on November 16th. The title “Blue”, which refers to the pigment that was used to make the work, resonates the personal story behind the work and the relationship between the artist and the subject, his brother, while at the same time directly linking back to significant earlier works within Ericsson’s oeuvre and carrying with it a set of undeniable cultural references.

“These are images of my brother Mikey. They’re not portraits in a traditional sense. You just see a hooded youth screwing around in the woods. Mikey was maybe nineteen when I took the pictures, he’s closer to thirty now. The works are all blue, made with a powdered pigment you’d usually mix into a paint. They were created using the same process I used for the powdered graphite drawings, which involved forcing the pigment through silkscreens (photographic stencils)…. it’s more difficult than that brief description implies. Mikey is a tattoo artist, and blue is what black tattoo ink looks like under the skin after the tattoo heals. A tattoo is a wound, or a decorative scar. Any image can have this evidential aspect, capturing or witnessing a wounded moment, or a scared reality. The works in the show are titled after well known accepted names of classic tattoos — like “Born To Lose” — or after common tattoo imagery like snakes or daggers.”

 “(…)To dig deeper, I would highly recommend James Baldwin’s short story Sonny’s Blues, which, coincidentally, is about two brothers.”

Shaheen Modern and Contemporary Art
740 West Superior Avenue, Suite 101
Cleveland, Ohio 44113


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