Craig Tracy is an American artist who can paint hyper-realistic scenes on naked bodies of his models. A single work of art takes Craig days of planning and preparation while the actual paint application can take a whole day. He spends up to nine hours painstakingly applying water-based paint to his volunteers' bodies before photographing them in unique poses. It’s a major feat for models too who have to maintain the specific pose for hours on end. Some of his paintings use only human volunteers while on others he merges them with backdrops to give the display depth. His creations are so complex that it's difficult to distinguish between the art and the bodies. You have to look very closely to make out the nearly invisible bodies in the photographs. (Craig Tracy previously on Amusing Planet and again).
Born and Raised in New Orleans La, USA, Craig Tracy has always been an artist. His family's photo album is filled with images that captured moments of the family members ritually painting each others faces for Mardi Gras, one of the largest costumed carnival in the world. Craig's early years were filled with drawings and paintings of idealized love and beauty, but he was never satisfied with conventional contemporary art. He continued to search for a form of expression that would not only carry but amplify his unique creative perspective, and he found that in airbrushing. Airbrush work allowed him the freedom to paint on limitless surfaces. Limitless surfaces lead him eventually to faces and then to full bodies. Airbrushing become the technique that would dominate his next twenty years of painting.
Craig uses traditional paintbrush for the majority of the work with airbrush being used about twenty percent of the time. Finger-painting, sponging, splatter and dripping are also part of the process.
“I'm often inspired by a specific body's shape or perhaps a unique pose. I'm greatly inspired by aspects of culture, nature and intellectual constructs”, says Craig Tracy.
Craig says that he never uses the same body twice unless if another new body becomes a part of the composition. “I will also make exceptions if the painting is limited to a small body part such as hands, feet or a face. I love the adventure of working with a unique individual each and every time”, the artist adds.
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