We had the good fortune of connecting with The Tracy Piper and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi The Tracy, what’s the most important thing you’ve done for your children?
I think becoming a parent threw me into the work I am doing now because the question of what kind of world I am leaving behind really sharpened up when I had one coming on the way. You take a look around at what’s going on, and you realize you have to lead by example, that this next generation is coming up fast and holy moly do we need to do some work. The most important thing I have done as a parent was to invest not only in my own career as an artist but to take my work to the next level of community awareness and engagement. When a child sees you invest in yourself and the world around you it’s a powerful example of what they’ll step into as they grow older.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am an acrylic painter obsessed with color, from my rainbow hues stories are born. My goal with my work is to shake the normal narrative up and create truly inclusive work that dazzles while demanding thought. I am a white woman, making work about LGBTQIA, Black, POC, feminist and tough social subjects, in a magical abstract/realist style. I believe art has the power to change the world. As a female entrepreneur I have embraced social media for the democratization that it can provide for artists across the nation. Through the natural progression of my career I have found that at times my initiatives for social justice and causes do not fit in the box of ‘fine art’. As such I have run campaigns within my own following, inspiring others to vote by doing live videos and creating free printable posters, interviewing candidates for local elections, pointing people to organizations who align with my values, and raising awareness for artists within my own community to the platform that I have. For me it is incredibly important when talking or making work about difficult subjects to make sure that this work doesn’t directly benefit me. When I created prints for BLM and raised over $16,000 in a matter of months I donated all the proceeds to that organization. My vote shirts sold out in one week and the proceeds went to AOC to continue her fight in the capitol. My mural in downtown Oakland was purchased by the building owner and I was more than happy to re-invest the $6,000 to the community with 100% going to the Oakland Black Business Fund. I believe as an artist the best way forward is to lead with conviction, to wear your values on your sleeve. For me this journey has always been about love, love for my communities, love for the people around me, love for the beauty of art… And the question I continually reflect on is what do we all need? The answer is right there in front of us. Love. Feeling worthy of love is one of the most difficult hurdles we have as human beings, so my work is always with an eye towards making an inclusive space with which the viewer feels seen and loved. My upcoming book WORTHY is a reflection on my last 4 shows in which I explore these questions and feelings, each of these shows about a concept around self worth, social justice and inclusivity. My hope is that those who bring the book home will find a kernel of truth within those paintings and pages, that they too will feel WORTHY.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
There is so much to do in LA. From beach excursions, to bar hopping, to dining out, I honestly feel like you can never get bored. Not to be missed is the California African American Museum which houses some of the most amazing artworks. Happy Ice is some of the most artistic ice treat’s I’ve ever seen. If you are feeling adventurous head for a hike to the three-tiered waterfall of Escondido Falls, which is a stunning thing to behold. Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Voss Gallery – without the support of Ashley Voss and her work of championing a diverse group of artists I would not be where I am today. She has made it her mission to find artists who do not fit the traditional mold of the art world and pushed and fostered their careers. I forever will be excited to work with her and her gallery in any way shape and form.
Other: Link to purchase my book: https://vossgallery.art/collections/the-tracy-piper/products/worthy-fine-art-book