My prints on paper and fabric are collected memories from a past that is unknown to me. I use vintage photographs to create dialogues between history, memory, and time that address themes of existence, fragility, and mortality, as well as the theme of loss of life and memory, and disability.
The themes of my work greatly stem from my experience living with chronic and progressive diseases. Not only have I been forced to deal with my own mortality head on, but I have witnessed close friends and others in my medical community succumb to their inevitable fate living with chronic conditions. My memory it of itself often gets impaired and it has forced me to realize how important our memories truly are, whether it is of something long ago in our past, of a loved one who is now gone, or the impact we leave in others’ lives and the fear of being forgotten.
Using found material in my own work is a crucial element in my practice, and I mainly use photographs of women. 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 mortality as well as the loss of memory. I toy with reality of the past, its fiction, 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, papercutter, 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 Award for the VSA Young Emerging Artist program 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.