Kaleidoscopic sunset hues graced the walls of Voss Gallery in San Francisco at the opening reception of Tracy Piper’s “All I Need” exhibit. As a former circus performer and winner of “Skin Wars: Fresh Paint,” the San Francisco-based artist has a unique and vibrant style. Her paintings pop off the walls and exude radiant energy. The main theme of “All I Need,” which opened Feb. 7, is comfort in one’s body and free love across identities and genders, whether it be romantic or platonic.
“Visions,” one of Piper’s series on display, features expressive and colorful eyes on a blank canvas. The assortment of eye shapes and colors is stunning, each piece very personal and intimate, with the eye seeming to look directly at the viewer. Every eye gazes through the canvas with a slightly altered angle, conveying various emotions. “Visions 03” displays an almond-shaped eye with a gleaming violet iris and a sideways glance, as if contemplating or reflecting, while in “Visions 10” the eye is downcast, brimming with tears.
Another series on display involves hands in a variety of meaningful positions. In “Pinkie Promises,” two delicate hands link pinkie fingers to signify a pact. The color palette explodes with oranges, blues and pinks at the center, while grass green and sky blue hues frame the hands. The painting, simple yet impactful, signifies the deep trust and compassion that a strong bond can have.
In a similar vein, “Family Found” is a piece about finding kinship and love in one’s chosen family. Three women embrace each other in the foreground, a tattooed woman on the left tilting her head, a woman in the center boldly staring directly ahead and a woman to the right glancing down with a smile. The women all lean against each other for support and have a beautiful sense of trust in the way they hold each other up. The piece is intimate and warm, showing the deep bond the women share and their levels of comfort and trust with each other. Pink tones highlight their bodies and Piper’s signature drips of color add visual texture to the painting.
In “Forever and a Day,” Piper’s pinkie-promise motif returns. Two women stand back-to-back and clasp pinkies, looking in the same direction. It’s as if they both share a common dream and are making a promise to see that vision through together. The connection between the two women is tangible, and the viewer can discern the depth of love between them. Bright pinks and electric blues highlight their faces and bare chests.
In contrast, “A Little Space” is about finding solace in oneself and valuing time alone to reflect. The subject of the painting is an androgynous woman with cropped hair wearing a white bodysuit. She clasps her torso in her hands and rests her head on her shoulder, embracing herself as if to protect and ease her mind. Luminous pink tones highlight her cheekbones and facial structure. She looks at the viewer confidently, at peace with herself. The piece indicates that self-love comes above all else, and respecting one’s body and mind are pivotal to loving oneself.
“Rise” has a similarly strong message. The three women from “Family Found” are also the subject of this painting, but this time they stand together and look toward the viewer. The woman at the center gazes on proudly and defiantly, the woman on the right smiles with self-assurance and the tattooed woman on the left holds her arm against the middle woman’s chest, leaning on her for support and strength. This piece demonstrates the resilience and power that one’s chosen family or partners can bring.
Positive energy and love radiates from the gallery at Piper’s exhibition, illustrating the power of her art to beautifully bring people together while coloring the world around her. Piper’s paintings serve as a reminder to value one’s chosen family deeply, and above all, to value oneself.