Craig Tracy: Body Painter Artist Extraordinaire

Whether art imitates life or things are the other way around, there is no question that New Orleans-born Craig Tracy is a body painting artist unlike any other anywhere in this vast cosmos. His collection, some of which is featured below, is regarded by many as the best examples of body painting anywhere in the world.

Consider the tiger illustrated above and look very closely. The creature’s eyes, cheeks and chin have been painted onto the floor, but the back of a female volunteer forms the rest of its face. Her bottom has become the cat’s nose and and top lip.

Tracy has been known to spend as much as nine hours applying the water-based paint to his volunteers’ bodies before even attempting to pose and photograph them. He varies his subjects as sometimes they are exclusively volunteers of the human variety, and at others they are merged into backdrops to relay a sense of depth.

An important factor with Tracy’s incredible art lies in his ability to plan. There is nothing impulsive about his outstanding creations. He finds his inspiration in the model’s body and he sometimes spends as much as two days planning before applying that first dab of paint.

In his own words:

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

At the age of 15, he received an airbrush as a gift from his parents and that was the beginning of the technique, which would transform his drawings and paintings and dominate his next twenty years. An artist for as long as he can remember, Tracy graduated from The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale and was working as a professional illustrator by the time he was twenty.

Here’s to you Craig Tracy and your incredible talent!

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