Tracy Silva Barbosa
BOE 2005 Chardonnay
“Newtown Creek”, © 2005
Mixed media (acrylic, metal and chemicals) on canvas, 44” x 44”
As an artist, I am concerned with traditional landscape issues in our current modern environment. I employ both glass sculpture and acrylic painting on canvas to create light and landscape out of an otherwise abstract atmosphere. My work uses the juxtaposition of certain imagery to create a delicate narrative vocabulary to begin addressing issues such as age, sensuality and transcendence. With the spare flight of birds and twisted stalks of plastic flora, it is my intention to create a lyrical motion, which reflects the passage of time as alluded to in the form of number patterns that act as shadow and echo the structure of any given bit of imagery.
Often sequential moments are represented together, animating these asymmetrical compositions with a seemingly natural yet fabricated motion that’s easy for the mind’s eye to follow. These composite landscapes are assembled from my own photography along with archived scientific drawings and diagrams. Juxtaposing this with natural paint textures and various applications of gold, silver and copper leaf, I attempt to conjure a rich psychic realm full of color, balance and harmony.
Tracy Silva Barbosa was born in 1977 in Taunton, MA to immigrant factory workers from the Azorean Islands of Portugal. The second child of three, Tracy displayed an early passion for the arts and an inclination toward abstract thought. Imbued with a sense of cultural contrast and an ambitious desire to pursue a career as an artist, Tracy attended The Massachusetts College of Art, where she entered the sculpture department and majored in glass. This course of study, which allowed access to many different facilities, provided the foundation for a process-oriented approach in her work.
Early influences included Gustav Klimt, Donald Judd, and Gerhard Richter as well as more classical paradigms found in the Byzantine, Baroque, and Rococo periods. As a student traveling to Japan, the young artist was taken by the aesthetic of asymmetry and the narrative quality found in Asian scroll paintings. Upon graduation Barbosa relocated to the San Francisco Bay area to work for John Lewis Glass. Over the next three years she worked closely with Lewis on a variety of projects including the Oklahoma City Memorial. After moving on to New York City, Tracy began to focus more on painting as a formal study method for her glass sculpture. Through this medium she discovered a new freedom, reflected in the prolific outturn of her paintings and sculptures for an increasingly enthusiastic contingent of collectors. Tracy now lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.