Often cultivating a concept warrants experimentation. It begins with an idea that lacks shape, but is held by sensation. It is my strong opinion that my artwork needs to be interpreted into new forms, mainly written and spoken word, to present multiple entry points into the complexity of the interconnected themes that span all the mediums that I use.
A gallery event in the fall of 2015, when an actor plays me and reads my journals amidst my artwork, indicates the direction that I am excited about.
MEMORIES FROM THE FUTURE An exhibition of paintings by artist Lee Tracy, accompanied by readings of the artist's journals by Chicago actor Sheila Willis and music by cellist Lilianna Wosko. Presented by Josef Glimer Gallery and Gunnar Curry.
THE STUDIO VISIT I September 2013
Presented by The Arts Palette and filmed by Gunnar Curry.
Lee Tracy on stage, surrounded by her work, engages an audience with storytelling. An experiment, a performance, exhibition, my GESAMTKUNSTWERK (translated as total work of art, ideal work of art, universal artwork, synthesis of the arts, comprehensive artwork, all-embracing art form or total artwork) is a work of art that makes use of all or many art forms or strives to do so.
PLAYBILL: THE STUDIO VISIT I 2013 Chicago, Illinois, USA
"The world is so big, so complicated, so replete with marvels and surprises that it takes years for most people to begin to notice that it is, also, irretrievably broken. We call this period of research "childhood." There follows a program of renewed inquiry, often involuntary, into the nature and effects of mortality, entropy, heartbreak, violence, failure, cowardice, duplicity, cruelty, and grief; the researcher learns their histories, and their bitter lessons, by heart. Along the way, he or she discovers that the world has been broken for as long as anyone can remember, and struggles to reconcile this fact with the ache of cosmic nostalgia that arises, from time to time, in the researcher's heart: an intimation of vanished glory, of lost wholeness, a memory of the world unbroken. We call the moment at which this ache first arises "adolescence." The feeling haunts people all their lives. Everyone, sooner or later, gets a thorough schooling in brokenness. The question becomes: What to do with the pieces? Some people hunker down atop the local pile of ruins and make do, Bedouin tending their goats in the shade of shattered giants. Others set about breaking what remains of the world into bits ever smaller and more jagged, kicking through the rubble like kids running through piles of leaves. And some people, passing among the scattered pieces of that great overturned jigsaw puzzle, start to pick up a piece here, a piece there, with a vague yet irresistible notion that perhaps something might be done about putting the thing back together again" Two difficulties with this latter scheme at once present themselves. First of all, we have only ever glimpsed, as if through half-closed lids, the picture on the lid of the jigsaw puzzle box. Second, no matter how diligent we have been about picking up pieces along the way, we will never have anywhere near enough of them to finish the job. The most we can hope to accomplish with our handful of salvaged bits - the bittersweet harvest of observation and experience - is to build a little world of our own. A scale model of that mysterious original, unbroken, half-remembered. Of course the worlds we build out of our store of fragments can be only approximations, partial and inaccurate. As representations of the vanished whole that haunts us, they must be accounted failures. And yet in that very failure, in their gaps and inaccuracies, they may yet be faithful maps, accurate scale models, of this beautiful and broken world. We call these scale models "works of art."
"Wes Anderson's Worlds" by Michael Chabon, The New York Review of Books
Gathering the broken pieces to make a world is an interesting door into my art, especially with my long-term projects that span decades. I begin with a piece that is broken, like our forests or rivers, then, without a map, I start feeling my way forward. Pushing my art forward is a lot like pushing my life forward. In fact, I am melding life and art, the art and the artist, the fictional and the autobiographical. This task requires a variety of tools, painting, installation, and book-making.... It is what Wagner called a "gesamtkunstwerk." - Lee Tracy
Special thanks to
The Arts Palette
Big Deahl Productions
Revolution Brewing for delicious beer
Food for Thought and Liz Sarnik for tasty treats
Gaetano Comerci of Domaine Select Wine Estates for good wine
Tekla Inc. for our wheel of Spanish cheese
Rosemary and David Deahl
Filmmaker Gunnar Curry
Photographer JJ Jetel
East of Edens Soul Express (DJs James Porter and John Ciba)
Claudia Skylar and James Mastro
Michelle Korte Leccia
Lisa Rainey Morrison