Tracey Langfitt, what’s in your fridge?
fruit and vegetable spray-wash
earth balance butter spread
Artist’s Biography written by Tracey Langfitt
Tracey Langfitt is not a self taught artist. She began her education in the arts with her father before kindergarten. Learning with her father was something that would continue through middle school. Frank V. Langfitt III, her father, has a deep interest in the arts of poetry and sculpture, in which he shared with her his many books and exposed her to the images in this form of conceptual transportation; as well as taking her through the streets of Portland, Oregon throughout the many beautiful and well designed public art works. In kindergarten, Tracey painted a cat and that’s all that she remembers painting in her earliest period. The painting was a tempera paint outline with a flat brush on paper with text written, in evenly scaled lettering, cAT. The teachers of Catlin Gable were astounded at her astute ability to understand what she had painted. From there, she fell deeply into braided friendship bracelets braided in the grass of the Ainsworth School, where she directly attended for elementary school and threw herself into her after school activity: arts and crafts. There was paper mache in school, but whatever. Painting was where it was at. At her first lemonade stand, she attempted successfully in marketing and selling her convincing representation of paint on tile of one apple and one banana. It was a good one. The next best one was an owl she drew in the horrid Mrs. Marinou’s class. Tracey did not succeed in selling her work to a fellow student, who had inquired about the purchase but turned it down for the high price of $5.
For a time, visual art took a back-seat to the piano. This became, to date, the most important moment of enlightenment in Tracey’s artistic career. She found her space, what is commonly referred to as “the zone”. Although a crap name for the nirvana of the experience, to be in this place is what drove her to great lengths in drawing, painting, and sculpture in her later career. This moment became the goal. With time, art revealed its many powers to her because of this. Her favorite song is the last song she learned, Solfiggietto by C.P.E. Bach. She can no longer read music. When she played, she played only classical music. She studied under Jessica, who often encouraged her to practice more often on her parents rented piano, which was rented just for her. In her current life, she remembers the notes purely through muscle memory and can perform the first written page of Solfiggietto. She still enjoys fucking around on a piano, thinks that they are beautiful, and dreams of learning again.
At the age of 14, Tracey Langfitt enjoyed and endured a great shift in her life by attending The Lawrenceville School of Lawrenceville, New Jersey as a boarder. Virtus Semper Viridis. Excelling as a leader and a thinker became a learned priority, cast in a positive light by the committed faculty and facilities. About half way through these four years, Tracey embraced being a bad kid and having bad kid fun, which led to smoking cigarettes. This habit led to the mysteries of the campus, hidden aqueducts, hedge enclosures, and the ever less glamourous and indiscreet behind the bakery move. Mystery officially became an influence in her life at this time that lasted and grew throughout her life and career, having followed her from her childhood dreams. A deep and vivid dreamer, a curiosity brewed inside a genetically wild and intelligent girl who had access to formal training. Never was this access undervalued by Tracey. Never was any privilege to sneak out, write truly, get a bad grade, draw for an essay instead, or class missed and excuses made missed. These cases were very infrequent, but are considered by the artist one of her greatest privileges. Fearlessness if not recklessness was a quality often seen by her superiors in chronological maturity. Confidence and belief was the truth behind this image held by the artist as the key to greatness. Greatness was a suggestion made to her since the cAT. The memory of the piano, and moments that hit her hard in the exact same aspect came to her in drawing classes. She did in fact follow the rules quite well besides and learned a great deal in the great tradition of formal academics.
The moment Tracey decided to become an artist for life changed her life forever. She was abroad for a trimester in Cape Eleuthera, Bahamas as a member of the Pioneer Class of the Island School. She had been drawing a lot. She was sitting aroundish the middle of campus drawing a shell she had found. Jeremy Stone, a classmate, walked up and saw her drawing. He said, “You should be an artist”. Everything became real.
Tracey devoted herself to art immediately upon her arrival to high school. Dropping Spanish, math, and history, she took almost solidly art classes, keeping on the sciences and English literature and poetry. Her poetry kinda sucked, but there was a genius in the classes whose poems moved the heart and reverberated their meaning without memory of the words after the fact. All I remember is “And you are my Tokyo”. The poet was Sam Van Essen Fishman. In a school with many students competing to receive entrance into the Ivy League, Tracey’s art advisor made fun of her that “she wanted to go to clown school” because of her class choices. Her family had concerns about a private art school and insisted on a liberal arts program. Tracey was accepted into The Roski School of Fine Arts at The University of Southern California. This school was fucking crazy and taught the artist a lot of things she wanted to know and a lot of things she didn’t. All of these things became important and will remain unmentioned, except for the world class Public Art, Installation Art, Site-Specific Art, and the most memorable and concept hounding driving teachers by the names of Ann Page, Caryl Levy, Brian Olson, Jud Fine, Justin Bua, and Bob Alderette. These people are world class masters and professors, and The Roski School of Fine Arts ranks in the top three fine arts schools within liberal arts universities. But mostly I learned it painting in kindergarten, in after school activities, and from Bob Alderette.
Tracey Langfitt considers her major in undergraduate university to be in Public Art and Installation with the intention and design to be site-specific. Her side privileges here were taking animation classes at the world renowned USC School of Cinematic Art, and that was dope and informed her z axis as well as the intrigue of the walk cycle. Check out her youtube channel, www.youtube.com/langfitt to find references to the first animations ever made.
Within two weeks of graduation, Tracey Langfitt moved to the city she was in love with, New York City. Her CV covers most of this, and what it doesn’t is an influence on underground culture that can only be bragged about by this small mention and if you catch her in the throws of memories of walking on the line. That line. Farse is the line between genius and insanity. If you get between genius and insanity, this is what you trip over. That’s why we call it the line, rumored to be thin. Working as mentioned in her CV, Tracey had her first studio visit with Chrissy Crawford, who, to Miss Langfitt’s great surprise, passed by the painting she had been painting over and chose something for a show with artists that were actually known, like fucking famous. Miss Langfitt had made the work out of a bored depression from being pretty broke in Brooklyn in the winter. This piece is Graffiti Stencil small. Graffiti Stencil large was made custom for a site at the Collette Blanchard Gallery for it’s opening night show, Belle du Jour. The work is hand drawn and cut and took two weeks to make sober. Sue Langfitt Fuller and Mortimer B. Fuller III, her mother and step-father, were in attendance at this show. Their influence on her understanding of art spans from a 1930 African safari expedition and their personal African art collection.
I don’t know what to say after that. It’s been New York City. I’m a part of it all, and that’s not some line. Frank Sinatra was a very slick man. I’ve met and left and committed to some of the most amazing and talented people in existence during this era on this planet. It’s abnormal the talent of my friends. I can’t believe it. When I think of them or see them perform, the talent and work, and that moment in piano and drawing, it all feels so serious, so essential, so life threatening to be the best. But I got this Masters degree from The New York Academy of Art in painting, and I can paint for real now and I really do not know what I’m doing. It’s the essential piece. I didn’t need help learning sculpture, I’m a master. I needed help to paint. And I didn’t even like it for years, and I made myself do it and couldn’t figure out why and finally I got past that technical barrier and I know why I do it. I don’t know what I’m doing and I’m mastering it. It will last forever and ever. During this point in my life, I took on symbols to my identity such as the number 8, a symbol of infinity, and the rose, also a symbol of infinity. In the theory of phi, the sea shell that started it all also implies this definitive extent. I love the unknown and infinity. Tread without arrogance, confidence is mortal’s chiefest enemy and it did not work out for MacBeth. Ease or difficulty is not important, recognition is important. The artist knows art, and I refer you to the correlation between Marcel Duchamp’s Fountain, on display at The Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the Chinese first placing a rock on a pedestal, which can be seen in gardens around the world today.
The only perfect math available to the human race is quantum physics, which states and confirms chance as our master of matter of fact. Albert Einstein said that God does not play dice, but Sir Isaac Newton tried to date the end of the world partially in reference to The Bible. We all stand on the shoulders of genius. The truth stands regardless. The artist’s life is the life for me. Art lives, and the chance of a new world is just as likely as an old one. Not only can I imagine it, I can bring it here.
Tracey considers all of her work post mastery to be site-specific.
Tracey Langfitt’s favorite works of art are Michelangelo Buonarroti’s Chapel of the Pieta, Antonio Canova’s Psyche Revived by Cupid’s Kiss, and Emilio Ambasz’s Casa de Retiro Espiritual. Her favorite artist is Alexander McQueen.
Tracey Langfitt is an artist of performance, drawing, painting, and sculpture. She lives and works in New York City.