If Wishes Were Horses...
December 15, 2011 - January 28, 2012
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While Tara Tucker’s new works continue to showcase her rendering skills in both graphite and acrylic paint, she has broadened the metaphorical base of her animal characters. Instead of mutating and merging with the plant kingdom to enhance survival opportunities, they now represent human emotions, the artist’s autobiographical experiences, and an awareness of the importance of proportion in balancing wants and needs, success and failure, risk and progress.
The title “If Wishes Were Horses…” refers to a frequent admonition by Tucker’s mother in response to her childhood requests for anything considered too out of reach or too outlandish. In the drawing that inspired the show’s title, a miniature horse is her emotional stand-in - an “oddity” bedecked by friends (the spider monkeys) braiding her mane as she awaits her transformation into a beauteous creature. The hope that embellishment and clothing would transmogrify insecurities seems ironic to the adult Tucker who acknowledges the existence of a global industry promoting not only the “fashion is art” concept but also the transformative powers of designer clothing. In her raw linen pieces (hand-woven by artist Valerie Gnadt), Tucker has the spider monkeys fashioning exotic plants into stylish jungle couture and modeling the results.
Tucker was born in Santa Barbara, CA. She received her BFA and MFA from the California College of the Arts in Oakland. Recently her work was included in Animal Instinct: Allegory, Allusion, & Anthropomorphism at the John Michael Kohler Center in Sheboygan, WI that ran from September 2010 through July 2011. Also this year, she was selected as participant in the JB Blunk Residency program for artist in Inverness, CA. Tucker lives in Berkeley and is an instructor at Creative Growth Art Center in Oakland, CA.