Tracy Gray

Tracy Gray2019-07-30T17:41:13+00:00

Tracy is an analogue visual artist and collector who documents skate culture.

"My creative process is based on having as much fun as humanly possible. The GET STUFFED! pizza zine was exactly that. I had about 4 years' worth of photos at home and I knew I wanted to make a zine with them. The images were from all aspects of my life; funny, obscure, urban scenes, as well as good times with friends around London and Europe.

I wanted to keep the photographs as a loose set of prints, rather than printing them onto paper and having them bound or stapled together. I spotted some school kids outside one of those cheap takeaway places along the Old Kent Road with these mini pizza boxes and that's where the idea came from to package the prints within a pizza box. Then I called Bryce at Parlour Skate Store about having a launch party & exhibition at their gallery space. BOOM! Two months later I was holding my first solo exhibition and selling my first ever zine.

I think when it comes to skateboarding, it has to be the same: Making sure you're having as much fun as possible. Of course you need to challenge yourself and try new things, but it's gotta be fun all the way, otherwise what's the actual point?

For my last project I collaborated with artist and illustrator Eloise Dörr. We had connected quite a while before we actually worked together through our mutual artist friend Lucas Beaufort (founder & creator of The LB Project). When we reconnected over a year later, I had just completed GET STUFFED! and Eloise was in the final run-up to her Leftovers solo show at Parlour.

I just thought it'd be fun to see how we could combine our two artistic styles together. I pitched the idea to her and we started working together a couple of weeks later. I shot the brutalist architectural locations on 35mm film and Eloise painted her silhouette characters directly onto the photographs. The urban landscape lends itself well to be a skateboarder's playground. It was really rad process of looking at potential skate-spots for her figures to play in, when in reality these spots are more-often-than-not out of bounds for skateboarders.

We also made a zine which incorporated my photography and Eloise's illustrations and paintings. We decided to call it '623', which is short for Six and Two Three's. That's kinda how we saw ourselves, our creative works being quite different from each other, but arriving at the same destination regardless.

We held an exhibition in Berlin this January, the opening night really exceeded our expectations. We were blown away by the amount of people who came to support us.

I have so many talented friends within the skate community that inspire me. But I guess if you had to push me for one name, it'd have to be Lovenskate. More importantly, the man behind the brand; Stuart Smith. He's one of my oldest, dearest and truest friends out there. I get hyped just talking with him! The effort and hard work he puts in, is evident in everything he creates for Lovenskate. I've always been drawn to the hand-made, hand-crafted, DIY aesthetic, so Lovenskate basically encompasses everything I love about life. Absurdly energetic, down-to-earth and genuine. That's Stu to a tea.

The No Comply Network is bringing together like-minded people to be able to collaborate and discuss new ideas, which can only be a good thing in my book. Keep on doing what you're doing, because you're doing it well!

I'm planning on moving to Berlin next year and I have a trip to Europe in the summer coming up, which will incorporate the skater-owned trade show Shitfoot Mongoland Tradeshow. I've also offered to help out at the Lovenskate stand as well as the SFML crew.

But knowing them as well as I do, the work will generally involve a lot of drinking and partying, fun and with that my camera follows. So watch this space."

Tracy

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