A Distinctive Style Magazine

Issue 13

Culture, music, art, creativity, photography, environmental awareness, new fashion, celebrity interviews, motion video, organic eating, holistic health

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“ I have a very personal inner spirit that yearns for the exceptional. I absolutely desire to live passionately, and this drive seems to be inherent to my core being. I’m visually inspired by nature, culture and concepts such as truth. ~ Craig Tracy ” By Blake Alexander In February 2006 Craig Tracy opened the PaintedAlive Gallery in his home city, New Orleans, La, USA. PaintedAlive is the first gallery in the world dedicated exclusively to fine art Bodypainted images. But where did his passion for using the human body as a canvas start? Read on... when did you first realize you had the passion for painting? I’ve been an artist since day one. I have very distinct memories beginning around the age of four when I was greatly encouraged to continue to draw and paint. I have no memory of a time when I wasn’t an artist. It’s just always been understood that this is who I am and that creating is why I’m here. How do you see? what is it about a scene or subject that speaks to you and causes you to want to paint it? Ah, I love contrast and harmony. I’ve always been attracted to conventional beauty as long as it has an underlying strength or power. My attraction to tigers and other big cats would be a prime example of beauty balanced with power. I also love mystery in visual images, and I try to include a touch of intrigue in each painting that I create. what is the most rewarding aspect of your work? Can you tell us why you enjoy it, and what keeps you excited about coming into the studio each day? I’m so very fortunate to have found Bodypainting as a creative outlet as early as I did. It’s allowed me to involve so many aspects of what I love to do and bring all of these passions together into my work and daily life. With that being said, how - ever, my absolute favorite aspect of my work is the sharing that it allows me to do. I love sharing with viewers and collectors the very real and yet surreal moments of beauty and mystery that my work often involves. I also enjoy sharing with the models involved in my work. Their experience and pleasure as transform - a tive beings is very rewarding in and of itself. what are some of the challenges inherent in this type of work, and how do you deal with them? Being a fine art bodypainter offers me many unique and often unusual challenges. Pioneering anything can be a battle from time to time. I’ve had to be patient in certain areas of my career because of the lack of vision of others. Book publishing is a recent hurdle that I’m patiently working to overcome. Large publishers are currently a bit hesitant in signing me a book deal because they primarily refer to established precedents. To date bodypainting has no proven track record of selling books. I approach each such hurdle that I encounter with the confidence built from overcoming previous obstacles. In the midst of dealing with such roadblocks, I often smile and envision a time in the future when these little bumps are far behind me and, in retrospect, will be fodder for amusing conversations. what famous artists have influenced you, and how? I’ve been influenced by them all and in many varying ways. The greatest and perhaps the most profound influence on me came at a very early age. I was only twelve years old when I first became aware of a contemporary fantasy artist named Boris Vallejo. Boris is a modern master whose vision and ability altered my life when I was sixteen and seventeen years old. He painted the human body in a way that I had never before seen, and it was such a breath of fresh air for me. Later while in art school, I became aware of other both classical and contemporary artists that delighted my soul. Chuck Close, Maxfield Parrish, and Toulouse-Lautrec are among those that I truly respect and admire. would you tell us how you got involved with the “Save China’s Tigers” project and why? In November of 2009 I was contacted by Li Quan founder and Director of the Save China’s Tigers Foundation. She asked if I might create an image of a tiger that might bring awareness to her organization and cause. I had just coincidentally returned from an artistic exhibition in Shanghai China, and tigers have always been my favorite animals. So, the idea of helping her with this cause seemed timely and very worthwhile. The image Continued Next Page

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