Leslie Tucker

My photomontage process explores our buying habits and how we are led by a culture of artful sellers. My stories are about our conflicts and dualities shown through the objects we nimbly consume. I invite my audience to meander through my decorative tableaus to rediscover the underbelly of our humanity–to better understand who we are, who we’ve been, and who we are becoming.

I’ve always been interested in our willingness to be sold, but lately I’ve been experiencing how making choices has become more and more exhausting–mentally, emotionally, and even physically. Our options have multiplied rapidly and it’s wearing us out. More than anything else, this is why we form such enduring loyalties. Once we believe that our values and choices align, we’re happy to choose what has earned our trust, and to shift some of the burden off our shoulders.

But what happens when our choices and values are in conflict? Rather than logical conclusions based on needs and preferences, some choices are often a slim visible portion of our internal struggles, pitting conflicting ideas and beliefs against each other. How often are we attracted to something we also find unsettling? Do we buy it anyway to soothe our emptiness? Or do we leave it behind and walk away?


Leslie Tucker’s visually and contextually elaborate photomontage documents comment archly on American consumer culture and her concern for the human condition. The documents themselves, from postage stamps to stock certificates to legal forms to flow charts to all manner of paper-borne banality, tend to be depicted in gridded accumulations inferring the social and personal costs of consumption. In all cases Tucker has enlivened their already potent graphic presence with pointedly humorous evocations of our appetites, habits, and reliance on and expectations of commodities and devices. The icon at the center could be as distinctive as a Coke® bottle or as generic as a slice of bread. But even the bread, Tucker reminds us, is packaged in a certain way – a way that also affects our behavior and our health.

Peter Frank, art critic for the Huffington Post, Associate Editor for Fabrik magazine


Leslie Tucker offers an ironic analysis of the American Dream put forth in a series of digitally collaged works that commemorate objects, places and historic moments in our culture that are iconic markers charting our socio/political development (for better or for worse). Her playfully sardonic wit emanating from the artworks is exemplified in statements such as “”Toxic Carbs’ is my latest stamp work. I am gripped by the sense that processed white bread is eroding due to the encroachment of whole grains.”

The artist composes her pet peeves and the things associated with them like a playwright casts plays. To Tucker, ordinary objects become her palette of characters who get hired, or not, to act out her cultural vision. Her charge is to honor the ordinary and become its self-appointed steward.

She canonizes and breathes life into all the well-deserving objects we shamefully snub. Their meanings take on a dualistic struggle on a grander scale. The incandescent light bulb, central to the uplifting concept of illumination, is rightfully troubled by its looming ecological demise. The Coke® bottle, central to such uplifting themes as beingReal, being It, and Having a Smile; is paired with a contradictory value of its imperialistic hold on the sugar-addicted.

Plastics are in our homes to stay, and our oceans. “Hard To Swallow” captures the glistening dazzle of the multitude of Polyethylene Terephthalate water bottles found floating in our oceans and basking on our shores. Obesity, honored in “Hide Your Children” and now America’s #1 export, will undoubtedly nourish our lagging GDP to new economic heights. “Compliance” commemorates our new, wonderfully responsive generation of children who actually obey their parents’ wishes and willingly fall into line.

Her largest and most elaborate work to date, “Extraordinary Mundane,” charts the genesis of the American Dream in exuberant detail. It is a combination circuit schematic and old-school board game that romps through McCarthy era history in all of its pop grandeur: its ultimate message (in the artist’s words) could be “maybe if we all stopped shopping for one nanosecond we’d at least have a fighting chance at being a whole lot happier.”

Rex Bruce, Director, LACDA, Los Angeles CA

LACDA: Eighth Anniversary Retrospective
March 8 – 31, 2012
Los Angeles, CA

The Factory: International Art Competition
Fabrik Magazine 2010-11
Los Angeles, CA

LACDA: Concatenation 2010
Los Angeles, CA

Torpedo Factory Art Center: Target Gallery WomanMade 2010
Alexandria, VA

LaGrange National: XXVI Biennial 2010
LaGrange, GA

Rogue Space Chelsea Gallery: 20th National/International
Juried Competition 2010
New York, NY

Minot State University: Americas 2010 Paperworks Exhibition
Minot, ND

Cumberland Gallery: Small Packages 2009-10
Nashville, TN

LACDA: New and Improved II 2009
Los Angeles, CA

TAG Gallery: California Open Juried Art Exhibition 2009
Santa Monica, CA

Sylvia White Gallery: National Juried Exhibition 2009
Ventura, CA

Viridian Gallery: 20th National/International 2009
New York, NY

Austin State University: Texas National 2009
Nacodoches, TX

Rome Coterie: 8th National Juried Exhibition 2009
Rome, GA

San Diego Art Institute: 50th Annual International 2009
San Diego, CA

LACDA: International Juried Competition 2008-9
Solo Show
Los Angeles, CA

Torpedo Factory Art Center: Target Gallery 5x5x(5) 2008
Alexandria, VA


1st Place Solo Show: LACDA 2008 International Juried Competition
Los Angeles, CA
Jurors: Rebecca Morse Associate Curator, Museum of Contemporary Art
(MOCA); Peter Frank, Senior Curator at Riverside Art Museum, Art
Critic for Angeleno Magazine and Contributer to The Huffington Post;
Rex Bruce, Artist, Curator, Director at LACDA

2nd Place Monetary Prize: 2010 Chelsea International Fine Art
New York, NY
Juror: Megan Fontanella, Assistant Curator, Solomon R. Guggenheim

Purchase Award: LaGrange National XXVI Biennial 2010
LaGrange Art Museum
LaGrange, GA
Juror: J. Richard Gruber, PhD, Director, Ogden Museum of Southern Art,
University of New Orleans

1st Place: Enhanced Photography Award
Art Buzz 2010 Visual Arts Showcase
Dunedin, FL

Shortlist Winner: 2010 London International Creative Competition
London, UK
Jurors: Alfonso Artiaco, Alfonso Artiaco, Naples, Italy; Barbara
Polla, Owner and Director of Analix Forever Gallery, Geneva,
Switzerland; Ben Tomlinson, Director, Alma Enterprises Gallery,
London, UK; Hossein Formani, Curator, Los Angeles, New York, USA;
Jasper Thompson, Director of Mews 42 Gallery, London, UK; Knut
Ormhaug, Senior Curator, Bergen Art Museum, Bergen, Norway; Marcia
Fortes, Director, Galeria Fortes Vilaça, Sao Paulo, Brazil; Lisa
Wells, Art Appraiser and Advisor, Los Angeles, USA; Pam Kent, New York
Times, London, UK; Peter Frank, Art Critic and Curator at the
Riverside Art Museum, CA, USA; Regis Krampf, Director, Krampf Galeria,
New York, NY, USA; Robert Berman, Director, Robert Berman Gallery @
Bergamot Station in Santa Monica, CA, USA

Finalist: 2010 Aesthetica Creative Works Competition
Aesthetica Magazine
York, UK

Third Prize: Fabrik Magazine 2010 International Art Competition
Beverly Hills, CA
Jurors: Robert Berman, Director, Robert Berman Gallery @ Bergamot
Station in Santa Monica; Peter Frank, Art Critic and Senior Curator,
Riverside Art Museum; Hossein Farmani, Founder and President,
International Photography Awards (Lucie Awards); Michelle Berc, Art
Consultant and Founder/Curator of Create:Fixate; Chris Davies,
Publisher and Curator; Dale Youngman, Artist Liaison, Fabrik Magazine
and Gallery Director at The Factory