Arts & Culture News

Woman Crush Wednesday: Artist Melissa Tucker

Melissa Tucker is into vampires and the ballet.
Melissa Tucker is into vampires and the ballet. Beth Eves

Melissa Tucker has conquered many mediums. As a sculptress her work is shockingly lifelike, and as a clarinetist, she's rocked audiences with former band The Orange. The swing-dancing, vintage Mustang-driving, vampy, elegantly cool, old-time-influenced artist is also one of Dallas' best-dressed personalities. Tucker opened up about up about her screen siren obsessions and her predilection for corsets. Here's why we love her.

What are some ways you’re keeping sane during the quarantine?
Fortunately, right before the pandemic I was commissioned an art project that I can work on at home; any semblance of normalcy is welcomed at this point.

What do you miss most about going out?
Being able to see my boyfriend, friends, and go to concerts.

Who’s your woman crush in the arts/entertainment?

Well I'm an old soul so Greta Garbo is my favorite, although I'm currently having a hard time implementing her "I want to be left alone" quote.
click to enlarge
Tucker doesn't really have a type.
Scott Tucker
If you could travel through time and space, where and when would you go to?
The 1890s in Paris, France

What’s one song you play when you feel like being sad?

"Porgi Amor" from The Marriage of Figaro, written by Mozart

What’s one thing you did with your friends as a kid that you wish adults would still do?

Writing notes to each other and folding them into funny shapes.

What’s something you’ve been told about yourself that made you laugh?
I've had people come up to me if I stand too still and they get freaked out if I move, [and say] "I thought you were a mannequin!"

What are some thoughts that obsess you? 
I'm obsessed with human faces. With every portrait I paint it is like dissecting a puzzle into so many pieces. I love getting lost in the process. Every formula is different with each face, and it never gets old for me.

If your life were a movie, what genre would it be?

A romance — a mix of the movie High Fidelity and the book Les Misérables.

What’s your biggest cause?

That I inject some old-school passion and color into the starkness of everyday life.

Name the smallest thing that makes you happy.

Polly Pockets and Dippin' Dots!

What profession would you want to attempt only for one day?

Opera singer — except I would scar people for life and shatter glass.
click to enlarge
Tucker is as stylish as her silver screen heroines.
Michelle Tucker

Who’s your favorite villain?

The phantom of the opera

Are there any words you can’t pronounce?
I read too much for that to be a problem ... unless whiskey is involved.

Which piece of art best describes your personality?

"Portrait of Madame X," by John Singer Sargent

What’s one rule you particularly don’t subscribe to?

Don't date your brother's friend!

What’s the best way to impress you?

A young person having an interest in antiquities.

What’s something you’re disproportionately proud of?
Being able to find the perfect curl cream for my hair.

Tell me your favorite personal tradition.

Seeing the Nutcracker ballet every Christmas.

What’s one game show that you think you could win?

['90s Nickelodeon show] Legends of the Hidden Temple

Tell me a fun childhood memory.

Hands down my 12th Halloween birthday party. There was a stage with coffins built in. My brother's friends dressed up as ghouls and came out of the coffins to the song "Thriller." I danced to that song with my dad, who was dressed as Frankenstein. That is my favorite memory

Name your favorite fashion moment in film.

I have too many, but one comes to mind in particular. Barbra Streisand in Hello Dolly when she walks into the Harmonia Gardens in that killer gold beaded dress. That dress weighed 40 pounds!

Do you have any unpopular opinions?

I feel like women should still wear corsets.

Finish the sentence: You know you’re my friend if I...

Help make a custom pair of vampire fangs for you.

What question do you love to be asked?

How old are you ... really?

And what’s the answer?

150 years old.
click to enlarge
The artist with one of her commissioned works.
Melissa Tucker
click to enlarge
Tucker at her sanctuary, the ballet.
Maddox Finkel
KEEP THE DALLAS OBSERVER FREE... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Eva Raggio is the Dallas Observer's music and arts editor, a job she took after several years of writing about local culture and music for the paper. Eva supports the arts by rarely asking to be put on "the list" and always replies to emails, unless the word "pimp" makes up part of the artist's name.
Contact: Eva Raggio