Let Me Tell You About Love

by Nina Tichava Issue: 2022 Special Issue on Identity
Let Me Tell You About Love

Artist Statement

Pulling imagery and motif from organic form, architecture, media and design I create densely layered, mixed-media paintings that are invested in experimentation and grounded in traditional painting and craft. I’m interested in the overlap of nature and culture and the patterns present in both, as well as the color and spatial relationships that develop through process. 

Using painting and printmaking techniques, I interweave drawing and collage with a variety of media. Simultaneously painterly and constrained, my paintings are composed of complex layers, many of which are over-painted and concealed. A prominent element of my work is the application of thousands of beads of paint, painstakingly and individually applied with a brush and used to create screens and patterns. My work is best described as abstract painting with botanical and architectural references, as the pieces suggest natural forms (birds, leaves, branches), man made structures (buildings, windows, lights) and patterning both natural and designed (woven fabrics, strata of earth, pixels).

My paintings are visual collections of moments from daily life: combined glimpses, thoughts, memories and objects. I am trying to describe not only what things look like through the filter of my personal perspective, but also to create a sense of how they might feel. My works are emotional and imperfect, and as objects they embody my direct response to things mass produced and idealized. As handmade things, they are individual, imprecise and therefore unique. Perfection is unattainable, which is the inherent quality that continues to engage me in painting.



Nina Tichava

Nina Tichava was raised in both rural northern New Mexico and the Bay Area in California. She was influenced by her father, a construction worker and mathematician, and by her mother, who was an artist and designer. The reflections of these dualities—country to city, pragmatist to artist, nature to technology—are essential to and evident in her paintings. 

Nina is the recipient of the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Award Grant in 2007 and has exhibited professionally since 2009. Her work is featured in numerous private, corporate and public collections, and represented by prestigious galleries across the nation. She received her BFA from California College of the Arts [+ Crafts] in San Francisco/Oakland and has exhibited in major national art fairs including Miami, Los Angeles, Palm Springs, Dallas, New York, Aspen, Seattle and San Francisco.