Born in 1970, Tracey Harris grew up in Fort Gibson, Oklahoma. As a scholarship recipient, she studied at Kansas City Art Institute in Kansas City, Missouri, receiving a BA in Fine Arts in 1992. After graduation, she studied at Goldsmiths College University of London in England, where she received the Post Graduate Diploma of Art.
Harris is a Contemporary Realist painter with a quirky sense of humor and a confident handling of paint. Her most recent series of work reveals her close observations of the human figure and a keen eye for the iconography of modern life. These tongue-in-cheek paintings depict anonymous female subjects variously dressed in 1950’s style dresses or aprons, wearing tool belts or boxing gloves. The series unabashedly portrays desirable flesh in an overtly sexual manner; Harris illuminates the bare torsos and limbs of her figures with a warm, sensual palette. These are not, however, gratuitous displays of the female form. Art historical references abound: the artist’s skilled draftsmanship and ability to manipulate tonal qualities and light effects to indicate three-dimensionality allude to the Renaissance-era female nude; the compositional technique of cropping the figure is at once modern and sourced in Classical antiquity. Harris displays the breadth of her talent in a modern take on the traditional still life genre with a series of paintings depicting books with titles that extend to a broader cultural narrative.
“I draw my subject matter from my experiences of raising my son from birth, on my own. My figurative images of women appear powerful (and sometimes snarky)... When someone encounters the work for the first time, there is laughter and a universal understanding of the difficulties in life and the importance of laughing at oneself... It is only natural to put it in the work.” - Tracey Harris
Harris has exhibited her work nationwide in group and solo shows. She currently lives and paints in Denver, CO.