Monday, January 31, 2011

Craig Tracy

When most people hear the term, "body painting," they usually think of either that cheezy Pink Floyd poster or a strategically-placed butterfly flitting across some lady's titties at Bonnaroo. At this point, it's safe to say that most of the world can only do so much by painting on a live person, myself included. That is why I was so delighted and surprised to run into the gallery of Craig Tracy in the French Quarter this weekend. Tracy's a New Orleans native, and has actually developed a body painting style that is both captivating and original. Because his work is painted on actual nudes, all of his work is presented as photography. However, without knowing exactly what you were looking at, you may mistake the entire photograph, and the live nude in it, for a painting. They're that good. If you check out his web site, there are of course some duds that come along with this kind of medium, like some generic girls and babies painted gold or striped, but the rest truly make up for it. I'm particularly a big fan of the piece, "Butterfly" that he has on his site. I didn't include it here because the mastery of it is really in the photos he posted of his process more than anything. Few people can hide a girl's booty in a painting without taking something away from the piece. 'Nuff said.

This piece, "Sixtree" is my favorite and the only non-studio photo on Tracy's site. The tree in the center is made up of six painted people. I like it because it is beautifully understated. Hopefully, we'll see more work like this from Tracy in the future.

I have some personal envy for the kid who's mom heard, "I want to turn your womb into a radioactive, glowing space coccoon for hearts," and she was like, "Hell yeah. That'll go great in the blacklight room."

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