TR Ericsson
A faint portrait of a bride in sepia tones.

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Private collection

Sepia tones emerge from an expanse of white and beige, forming the image of a young woman holding flowers under her chin. Bride is both a portrait of the artist’s mother and part of his long-term effort to better understand her by telling her story.
TR Ericsson began the project after his mom, Susan, died by suicide in 2003, at the age of fifty-seven.

Upon finding a wedding portrait of his mother in a family album, Ericsson photographed the black-and-white print and made an enlarged silkscreen of the 1960s image. He then burned hundreds of cigarettes beneath the screen. What remains are the nicotine stains that were caused by smoke as it passed through the screen and onto the gessoed panel. In resorting to nicotine as a medium, Ericsson alludes to his mother’s smoking habit and the stains that she left behind in their home and in other spaces she inhabited.