Flowers for Sick People, 2020-2021. Paintings on canvas, pencil. Courtesy of the artist and Gallery 16, San Francisco.
“Sickness can be a very isolating experience for everyone involved. But there’s something about flowers that can poke a tiny hole in the wall of isolation that separates sick people from their loved ones.” —Tucker Nichols
Tucker Nichols’ Flowers For Sick People project began as a simple way to reach out to others during the pandemic. He started mailing his small flower paintings to people who are ill and created a website where people can request a flower painting to be sent to a friend or loved one.
Nichols started posting flower drawings on his website and on social media. He gave the works titles like Flowers for the angry man on the freeway just now or Flowers for teenage panic attacks. Nichols uses the universal language of flowers to soothe everyday suffering with everyday kindness.
About the Artist
Tucker Nichols is based in San Rafael, CA. His work has been shown at SFMOMA, Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Denver Art Museum, and Asian Art Museum in San Francisco. His drawings have been published in McSweeney's, The Thing Quarterly, The New Yorker and The New York Times. He is co-author of the books Crabtree (with Jon Nichols) and This Bridge Will Not Be Gray (with Dave Eggers). His new book Flowers in the Dark: Notes from the Infusion Center was released in November 2021.
Interview with the Artist