TR Ericsson


TR Ericsson (b. 1972, US) was born in Cleveland, Ohio and lives and works in Brooklyn, NY and Painesville, OH.  In the years following his mother’s suicide in 2003, Ericsson amassed an archive that would lay the groundwork for his ongoing series Crackle & Drag. The title comes from the song Crackle and Drag by Paul Westerberg of the alt-rock band The Replacements and pays homage to the poet Sylvia Plath and her poem Edge: “The woman is perfected. Her dead body wears the smile of accomplishment…Her blacks crackle and drag.” 


Crackle & Drag is a searingly poignant and deeply personal visual narrative of love, intimacy and loss within one family from America’s post-Industrial midwest. Working in a variety of mediums Ericsson’s deadpan photo-conceptualism has a graphic sensibility that often combines conventional printing technologies with surprising material and process twists that both reflect the DIY punk spirit of his youth, as well as his training as a painter, printmaker and draughtsman. 


Like artists Marc Quinn or Janine Antoni who use bodily materials to instill meaning in their work, Ericsson uses a silkscreen process and mixes his mother’s funerary ashes into the printing medium. The gesture could be compared with Indonesian tree burials. An organic ritual that gives vitality to human remains so that they’ll grow back into the world. The “tree” Ericsson constructs around his family is elaborate and rich. This is not a tomb or stagnant monument, but rather a dynamic and subversive method of scattering.


Ericsson's work is in the collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Dallas Museum of Art, the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Indianapolis Museum of Art, and many other prestigious public and private collections.  His books and zines can be found in numerous library collections including the Yale University Arts Library, the Museum of Modern Art Library, and the Smithsonian Institution Libraries.