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Michael Tracy is a major figure in contemporary art, particularly in Texas. Moving to Galveston in the early 1970’s, he began traveling to Mexico and in 1978 settled in San Ygnacio, a small historic border town on the Rio Grande. Tracy’s work is highly expressive, laden with religious symbolism and iconography, being strongly influenced by Mexican Catholicism, Hindu pageantry, the gulf of disparity between wealth and poverty, and the liminality of border issues and oppression. His body of work includes painting, sculpture, photography, film, performance, and jewelry-making all bound together by the presence of ritual. Regardless of the medium, a powerful sense of beauty and brutality, sensuality and ritual, religion and oppression are present in his work. Tracy has a deep understanding of the human soul, a fragile balance between baroque religion and spiritual enlightenment, having immersed himself in it by living near the largest rivers of the world, be it the Rio Grande, the Ganges, or the Seine.
Photo: Roger Haile