I recently had the pleasure of interviewing my dear friend, the talented artist Tracey Mose. We are so excited to feature her work at our new downtown store (711 O'Keefe Avenue in the Beacon/Standard complex) and I hope our readers will enjoy learning more about Tracey and her approach to art. Her Urban Expressionism grew out of her observations during the Covid-19 pandemic as a way to express emotions through shape and structure.
GRACE: I am so familiar with your husband, Tony Moses's work but I didn't realize until recently that you are also a talented painter. When did you start painting?
TRACEY: I always painted as a hobby but I had so many other interests and I was so busy working a 9-to-5 job, I only really painted for close family and friends. I always supported Tony's work and I designed jewelry so there was little time for my work. I finally started creating some art pieces in 2019, but it wasn't until Covid that I decided to devote myself full-time to canvas.
GRACE: I love your digital pieces! They are so powerful and fun!.
TRACEY: Yes but then I really enjoy combining my digital work with my painting. I love to use fashion in my work. I appreciate the freedom to experiment that fashion brings with it - it really helps me to experiment. I see fashion as fantasy - clothes let the wearer express their fantasies as well as their realities. Growing up I became interested in fashion at an early age and I especially appreciated the connection between fashion and art. Now as an adult I am interested in the urban expression of urban street wear. I brought these images to my digital work to create something entirely new.
GRACE: What else from the streets or the urban environment we live in inspires you?
TRACEY: I am a people person but I love walking the streets in the early morning or at dusk. I find a sense of calm in empty urban areas. I look for found objects and am inspired by the urban landscapes of telephone poles, buildings and electrical wires. I love how the old and new of New Orleans blend together and create something new and vibrant. When I am walking the streets, I am often thinking about gentrification and urban issues such as homelessness and poverty - things that are at odds with one another. These things are all very emotional for me.
GRACE: I know what you mean but tell me more....
TRACEY: When I start working on a piece or series, I think about how I can put my feelings onto canvas to tell the story of a moment in time. This is how I started working on my Urban Expressionist pieces. I fantasize about judgments and society and I play with definitions of what is "good" and what is considered "bad". I use unrealistic manipulated images and I keep them real. I don't strive for perfectionism. I create my shapes from the mind and from the things in real life that have influenced me.
GRACE: What's next for you?
TRACEY: Tony and I want to open a third gallery and I am currently working on an icon series. I am studying Joan of Arc and working on collages of this brave, powerful woman/warrior. I also chose Joan of Arc because to me she represents my thoughts of New Orleans. I love NOLA and it is my home. Even though I grew up in Bunkie, LA, my mother brought us to see family here as much as possible and so much of my identity is here. New Orleans represents who I became as an artist and who I will become.
TRACEY IS THE FEATURED ARTIST AT OUR STORE, SOTRE SOUTH MARKET, FOR WHITE LINEN NIGHT. WHITE LINEN NIGHT IS SATURDAY, AUGUST 7, 5:30-9:30PM.