Unreal Realism by Tracy Kerdman

On Art and Aesthetics

Tracy Kerdman

There’s something creepy about the art of Tracy Kerdman, a New York-based painter. It is very much about ordinary human bodies. It shows faces, limbs – of children, adults, old people. Just standing, staring or lying. Nothing momentous takes place in terms of action. And yet a strand of strangeness runs through all of these depictions. They are not quite right, you think. But you aren’t able to immediately figure out what exactly might be so wrong.

Where does this style come from? Tracy says, “I draw from my background of growing up in the low country of South Carolina, a place known for hospitality, and paradoxically, its bigotry. Figurative work is what drives my interest and helps me explore this idea of anxiety buried in normalcy. I am interested in the idea of what it is to ‘look normal.’ Working within the context of traditional figurative work, the goal is to create something unsettling…

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