My prints on paper and fabric are collected memories from both my life as a disabled woman and a past that is unknown to me. I create dialogues between health and disability, strength and fragility, the past and present, and fine art and craft media.
The themes of my work stem from my experience living with chronic illnesses. What does it mean to grieve over life once had, over friends lost, and over inevitable disease progression? How does it feel to have difficulties with pain, memory, your body doing everything against you, and doctors unable to treat or diagnose you? What is it like to constantly be reminded of your body’s limits, both in life and in an art practice?
Using clothing or found photographs of women is a crucial element in my practice. By doing this, I can retell their stories as my own, using them as surrogates in place of myself.
I hope to express through my work a sense of realization of how fragile, yet strong, chronically ill and disabled people are. I toy with the reality of health, the past, the tension between the two, and how it is 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 often 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.