Renowned photographer and cinematographer John Tracy is a master of his craft, seamlessly blending his technical expertise with a unique artistic vision. With his keen eye for detail and his innate understanding of the human condition, he continues to produce captivating photographs and evocative cinematography that immortalise evocative moments and emotions. eniGma’s Ereny Guirguis had the chance to chat with him about his interesting career journey.
Tracy’s journey began when he started painting at the remarkable age of two, 30 years ago. When he was five years old, he was already mastering the art of polaroid photography and developing prints in the darkroom at summer camp. In his early teenage years his passion for art merged with his passion for skateboarding at ZT Maximus skateboard park in Cambridge, Massachusetts, when he began photographing t-shirts for Shepard Fairey’s Skateboard team. These t-shirts became the nucleus of the Obey Clothing brand.
As time went on, Tracy ventured into the field of cinematography, traveling across the globe to capture mesmerising visuals, while continuing to expand his creative activities in photography, painting, filmmaking, producing, DJing, acting and even modeling.
When asked about his long-term professional goals, Tracy stresses that he aims to leave a lasting impact on both the art and entertainment industries. He recalls the Sk8 Art St. exhibit in Ibiza in 2013 as a turning point in his career. “That’s when the world knew John Tracy wasn’t just a local phenomenon; but a global brand,” he notes. This event catapulted him into the international art scene and solidified his reputation as a curator. Working with artists like Shepard Fairey on this project was transformative and opened doors to numerous other opportunities for him.
Tracy did the artwork above every bed in the Art Deco gem that is the Lexington Hotel in the heart of Manhattan. He also created the mural inside the Rathskeller Signature Suite at the Hotel Commonwealth in Boston, an upscale retro room that pays homage to Kenmore Square’s iconic past and the underground music venue known as The Rat. “These projects will serve as a legacy of my work and passions. Keep watching; I’m just getting started,” he exclaims.
Currently, Tracy is working on a coffee table book celebrating the 30-year anniversary of Obey Clothing, as well as an art documentary series to be released at international film festivals. In addition, he hopes to expand his creative expressions to Middle Eastern venues, possibly even finding business partners as he continues to evolve.
Tracy’s exciting future includes conquering film festivals with his documentary series and launching a production company and growing it into an empire of creativity. He recently founded his own production company to handle photoshoots, painting commissions, set design and art direction. He also has collaborations in the pipeline with renowned artists and musicians, and plans to expand his brand globally, exploring new mediums and platforms.
Naturally, Tracy faces some challenges, but they only serve to fuel his boundless creativity. He tells us that his biggest challenge has been in adapting to the ever-evolving technology and trends in both photography and cinematography. “Keeping pace with the digital world while staying true to my roots in traditional film has been both a challenge and an adventure,” he states.
Enigma was pleased to invite the brilliant Tracy to its 10th Celebration of Arab Glamour and Success in Beverly Hills. “The event was a grand celebration of artistry and creativity, and it was an honour to be part of such a prestigious gathering that appreciates and celebrates Arab glamour and success. My lens couldn’t get enough of it. The whole experience was deeply enriching,” he exclaims.