My prints on paper and fabric are collected memories from both a past and future that is unknown to me. I create dialogues between health and disability, strength and fragility, and the past, present, and future.
The themes of my work are heavily influenced by my experiences with my disabilities that impact my memory, both as a direct effect and as grieving over the loss of my friends and community members. I also ask questions directly related to my disabilities. What does it mean to grieve over life once had, over friends lost, and over inevitable disease progression? What is it like to question the unknown, both in life and death?
I use early 20th-Century photos of women within my work. Similar to decades prior, navigating the modern health care system as a woman often leaves us with unanswered questions and being both accused of faking it and told it’s “all in your head” by those we rely on caring for us. Focusing on vintage photos also conveys an emphasis on time, memory, and loss.
I toy with the reality of the past, the future, the tension between the two, and how life, memory, and health are capable of leaving us suddenly.
Monica Chulewicz is a Polish-American artist who was born and raised in New York. She is a printmaker and fiber artist who uses found, vintage material. Her themes of mortality, fragility, and disability are heavily based off of her experiences living with several progressive and chronic illnesses. She received a Wynn Newhouse Award in 2017, and the Grand Prize Emerging Young Artist Award from the Kennedy Center in 2016. She has earned a BFA in Art with minors in Art History and Psychology from Adelphi University, and was awarded The Peter Paone Award for Excellence in Works on Paper in 2013. She frequently shows in New York, as well as throughout the country. She continues to live and work in New York.