Artist Reception June 1, 5-7pm
Rena Bransten Gallery is pleased to present Tara Tucker: Surviving on one pure thought a day. Inspired by the artist Nan Goldin’s book of autobiographical photographs, “The Ballad of Sexual Dependency” (1986), the sculptures and exquisitely rendered and complex graphite drawings in this exhibition recreate Goldin’s photographs using animals as proxies for human subjects, portraying the essence of the images rather than replicating the compositions exactly.
Tara Tucker has carried a copy of “The Ballad of Sexual Dependency” for over thirty years, relating to Goldin’s insider documentation of her life, the LGBTQ community, and a heroin-addicted subculture. Nan Goldin’s “diaristic” photographs provided a parallel to many aspects of Tucker’s own art school world of the late 1980s and early 1990s – drugs, high risk lifestyle, and complicated, sometimes violent, sexual relationships, and Tucker connected with Goldin’s acceptance and celebration of all aspects of humanity.
Tara Tucker’s works on paper and sculptures depicting plants and animals have traditionally explored human interactions and social behavior, focusing on the melding of the natural and built environment. The works in this exhibition represent a frank look at the complexities of her own history, personalized as Tucker, a master draftswoman, adds additional elements: orchids from her Grandfather’s glasshouse, birds and foxes from her time volunteering at a Natural History museum, her mother’s specimen preparation for taxidermy, etc.
The exhibition title is a lyric from Kurt Weill’s song “The Ballad of Sexual Dependency,” from the Threepenny Opera.
A native to California, Tara Tucker received her BFA and MFA from the California College of the Arts in Oakland. She is an art instructor at Creative Growth Art Center in Oakland, CA, where she is the head of the rug department. She lives in Berkeley, CA.