Comforter

Media - 2021.70 - SAAM-2021.70_1 - 143065
Copied Paul Villinski, Comforter, 1994, cotton gloves, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of the artist, 2021.70, © 1994, Paul Villinski

Artwork Details

Title
Comforter
Date
1994
Dimensions
overall: 88 in. × 75 38 in. (223.5 × 191.5 cm)
Copyright
© 1994, Paul Villinski
Credit Line
Gift of the artist
Mediums
Mediums Description
cotton gloves
Object Number
2021.70

Artwork Description

Paul Villinski began making this comforter while recovering from drug and alcohol addiction. He recalls, “I needed a way to sit still, especially at night, so I spent multiple hours hand-stitching most evenings for about six months. I was coming to understand that I had been taking the comfort needed to survive from drugs and booze, but I was learning in sobriety to find that comfort in other human beings.” The artist often held hands with others during recovery meetings. He stitched together these work gloves—turned inside out to reveal the soft interior—to suggest the warmth and stability of a community wrapping its arms around him. Each stitch reflects the journey of his mind and hands and his restoration and connectedness. Though they began as melancholic, they are now hopeful.

This Present Moment: Crafting a Better World, 2022