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J U R O R ' S   I N F O

Craig Tracy

c r a i g

t r a c y

"It is my intent to continue to explore and expand the perceptions and boundaries of this most ancient, alluring, and contemporary art form." 


Born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, Craig Tracy has always been an Artist. Craig credits New Orleans with it's authentic and vibrant culture as a significant factor in what is at the heart of his passion, creativity and bliss. His family's photo album is filled with images that captured moments where he and his family would ritually paint each other's faces for Mardi Gras, perhaps the largest costumed celebration or carnival in the world where individuality and self adornment are considered standard practice. "There was never any question regarding my being or becoming a professional artist. It was always just obvious and understood." As a child Craig's loving parents nurtured his creative development and gave him the gift of freedom to mature as an absolute individual.  Living in a special time and in a special place filled with radical changes they can best be categorized as working class hippies and their nonconformist principles were instilled firmly in the young artist. It's safe to say that "Flower Power" and "Power To The People" are vastly responsible for his unique perspective on art and life. Coincidentally, it was that same hippie movement that re-ignited the soon to be interest and practice of Bodypainting in the western world.  

Craig's early years were filled with drawings and paintings of idealized love and beauty. He continued to expand his artistic horizons well into his teen years and at fifteen he received his first airbrush as a gift from his parents. The airbrush would become the technique that would dominate his next twenty years of painting. One year later at sixteen and in his third year in high school, Craig was working nights and weekends as an airbrush artist in a local shopping mall, primarily painting custom t-shirts and other personal gift type items. It was an important time for the young artist, painting fifty to eighty hours a week he quickly learned how to paint almost any image on a vast multitude of surfaces.

A graduate with honors from The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale, Craig was a professional Freelance Illustrator by the age of twenty. This period of work dealt primarily with Airbrush Illustration for advertising agencies and editorial publishing houses. "I actually hated being an Illustrator. I was so disappointed by just how mind-numbingly boring and lonely it all was. The fact that I was painting mostly commercial and industrial images seemed empty to me. I had no real interest or connection to the work and it seemed to suck the passion and energy right out of me." Six years later he retired from Illustration altogether to venture back into painting murals, t-shirt designs and again just about anything and everything possible. 

It was this regained freedom to paint for himself and individuals and on a variety of surfaces again that lead him to his inclusion of faces and then full bodies. "It really clicked, from the very first time that I painted a face, it was strangely powerful. I later realized that I had fallen in love with Bodypainting though it took me years to properly process and respect such an uncharted and ancient art form. It was similar to how people don't take things seriously because they have no example to follow. I didn't take Bodypainting seriously for five or six years. The day that I finally asked myself why I liked painting on people so much then led me to... Well,,, What if I take this passionate interest seriously? That one question and a quick Google search changed the course of my life."

Feverishly enthralled with the idea of becoming a fine art Bodypainter, he started collecting Bodypainted images from other artists that he respected and admired. "I wanted this work to surround me in my daily life. I found tremendous inspiration from having these images hanging in my home, beautifully framed and displayed in the majority of my living space. if I were to expect that others would purchase my images then I should have the respect to collect this beautiful work as well." His personal collection of Bodypainting from other artists continues to grow and delight his every waking hour.

His collecting images was soon followed by his first serious creation of images. The Nature Series a collection of fifteen unique images were very well received. Certain images from his nature series have become iconic as they are still visually, emotionally and creatively relevant. The artists’ belief in the concept that not everything has been done and that we all have room to grow and explore are fundamental principals that are clear and present in these first works. Shortly after he ventured to Europe to meet and share with fellow Bodypainting Artists. With over one hundred and eighty Artists from forty different nations, it was the World Body Painting Festival held annually in southern Austria that brought them all together. Participating in the 2005 festival and painting alongside his very good friend and artist, Jeral Tidwell as a creative Bodypainting team, they were awarded a first place honor. Craig has since been a judge at the festival multiple times and he credits the WBPF as being one of his life's greatest passions. His talent and experience in this art form have made  him a sought after painter, teacher and expert international juror.

Considered a cornerstone in Bodypainting's progressive movement, today Craig Tracy Bodypaints exclusively as his preferred medium. He shows his work internationally and he owns and operates the very first art gallery in the world dedicated to fine art Bodypainted images. The gallery located in his home city of New Orleans allows even the most seasoned art collectors and novices alike to see and experience first hand what Bodypainting is ultimately capable of expressing. With a passionate and pioneering spirit Craig personally meets and educates hundreds of people each week in the gallery.

Website:  www.craigtracy.com 

Videos: www.craigtracy.com/videolinks.html