I capture the essence of time and place, engaging with my surroundings and merging its residents, localities and atmospheric peculiarities into my work. By exploring the immediate environment, studying every detail and extracting specific highlights, I transform the information into artworks, best described as 3-D non-linear sculptural films. Combining sculpture, video, light, sound, and sometimes even water and smell, they capture places and people at a specific time in history.


- Tracey Snelling

Tracey Snelling's work uses documentation, anachronism and the feeling of estrangement as a symbolic resource to represent her experience with each place she visits. But sometimes, the recall of her memory and imagination intervene with the new scenes and suddenly seem like self-reflections of the soul or pure metaphysics. These isolated scenes sometimes remind me of Frank Stanford's film “It wasn't a dream, It Was a Flood”, for its surreal nuance and the fine line between reality and unreality, but also for the repressed sexual desires suggested by ontological voyeurism, that also characterizes Snelling's work through images or videos set to views of cities, fields, buildings, dens, etc.


More than a documentation, Snelling's work is a mental construction of a re-thinking of identity, which is endlessly changing up to the here and now . Like Stanford, Tracey seems to explore the so-called swamprat Rimbaud […] [a] redneck surrealist. "Reproducing" reality and converting it models or maquettes  is an act of locating where we are, who we are and what we represent when we are seen from the outside, either by someone else or from the outskirts of our own consciousness.

For Tracey, the shape is never a static container for its content. Through her formal choices, her narrative poems project a refracted vision of existence, where there is always a factor that breaks the "tranquility of the scene." Tracey wasn’t dreaming… something beyond made her swim between reality and the unreal.

Tracey Snelling was born 1970, Oakland, California. She attended the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque; and the San Joaquin Delta College, Stockton, California.

She was exhibited internationally and her work is part of the collections of prestigious institutions such as the Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, Maryland; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas; the West Collection, Pennsylvania; and the 21c Museum, Louisville, Kentucky, just to name a few. 

In 2016 she was one of the recipients of the Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters and Sculptors Award, Snelling is one of those artists whose work is structured based on a story. Her unique scale models are made from imaginary buildings, sometimes creating small towns. These buildings show fragments of movies in their windows, provoking spectators to look inside, establishing a relationship of complicity with them through voyeurism. The viewer is puzzled by the stories behind each of the characters that inhabit these “buildings” and the connection among them.


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