Tracey Datsi was born in Columbus, Ohio in 1972 to a working class family with an Appalachian history. Both of his parents had a talent for art but never pursued the work because it was thought to be something only for the rich, well educated, and well connected. The rest of the real world had to work, toil and strive. Art was considered a luxury, and one that was impractical and un-affordable.
Trace was a very quiet and contemplative child who learned to blend into the background and observe the people and circumstances around him. He began creating art during his teenage years as a way to express the angst, confusion and depression he felt. It was much easier to put into form the things he did not understand about himself or have words for. At the time, the term transgender did not exist.
Trace graduated from The Art Academy of Cincinnati in 2001, and is greatly inspired by Classical Art and the Old Masters. His mentor was Stewart Goldman, a painter whose work influenced him with dynamic brushstrokes, sensitive color and spacial relationships, and the figurative form. The Abstract Expressionists had quite an impact on his education, with an emphasis on the formal elements of composition, gesture, and color theory.
During this time at The Art Academy, Trace stumbled upon a process of making art based on a kind of "Rorschach Method of Creation". The first of which was called "Subjective Mirror". During this process the canvas is seen as a window into the subconscious. As the mind contemplates the ambiguity of random mark on the surface, a shift in perception is experienced as significant points of contrast in the composition change in spacial relationship to surrounding areas. The Surrealist painter Salvidor Dali produced these types of images. And it is this experience of the creative process that fuels Trace's awe and curiosity in the details of human perception, anatomy and psychology.
Art has been a means for Trace to heal from trauma and continue on the journey. The process of making art, along with meditation, EMDR, and medical transition has lead Trace to an embodied sense of self that was never before attainable; the sense of feeling oneself alive inside one's body.
Trace teaches art to people with mental health difficulties and cognitive / developmental challenges. You may contact him...Here.
This language of art, of composition and line, balance between illusion and form, of perception dependent upon both the observer and the observed, has no means to be quantified, justified, or explained apart without altering the substance it holds..
My hands have owned my voice before I could ever make an explanation of them. Authenticity of voice resides in the brush-work of hands that can not lie, no matter how awkward or unclear. The making of gesture, choice of subject matter, and media is telling: in the rhythm and balance or the lack thereof, in the use of material, sensitive or rushed...layered, tedious, free, or concealed.
And so the unformed voice becomes greater than the mind can grasp and solid ground breaks in the fall. From the decomposition of previously held truths...emerges an aesthetic, of salvaging the pieces to reconstruct a whole.
1998- 2001 Art Academy of Cincinnati, BFA
Figurative Drawing, Sculpture, and Painting,
Realistic Graphite Portraits,
Abstract, Surrealist, and Expressionist Oil Painting,
Matting and Framing of Artwork,
Storyboard, Character Development, Graphic Design,
Adobe Creative Cloud - Photoshop and Illustrator,
Plasticine Sculpture, Mold Making, Wax Spruing for Bronze.
Grants & Awards
1998 - Olga Botazat Scholarship.
1999 - Third Year Continuing Scholarship.
1999- Langhorst Warner Scholarship.
2001 - Sold anatomical study of skin to
The University of Cincinnati,
College of Medicine.