Traci Molloy

Printmaker & Social Activist, Brooklyn, NY


Artist Statement: I create raw and minimal art on paper by utilizing photography, printmaking, painting, and digital art techniques. My work explores themes of adolescent culture, violence, loss, and identity. I am also interested in the aftermath of violence - how humans process trauma and grief. My art is actualized in large, conceptually related series.

White Dandelions deals with the passing of time, memory, and loss. The prints’ backgrounds consist of grainy black and white photographs. The foreground is layered with text (days, numbers, minutes) indicating excessive amounts of time. As one approaches, the figures slip from focus and fade into the background, leaving only the markings of time evident. This echoes the mental erosion process that occurs after a loved one’s death.

The Kids That Kill Kids series examines loss in relation to adolescent violence, with an emphasis on youth who have murdered their peers. I am curious about the role the American media plays in vilifying perpetrators, as well as canonizing individuals killed as a result of school shootings, physical bullying, and cyber harassment. The paradox between the public’s desire for sensational stories involving brutality and death and the private emotions that come as a result of grief and loss plays a pivotal role in my work.

The Coloring Book series combines fragmented text with rough sketches, essentially reading as enlarged drawings from a personal notebook or journal. Though the subject matter is bleak, the images have universal appeal. Everyone has stories of friends and relatives they’ve lost, but like the taboo of death, they tend to go unmentioned. This work comments on human frailty, our need to make sense of death, to acknowledge life, and our need to use humor for survival.

The Ghosts paintings present characters depicted in a graphic style with a vivid palette. The characters are portrayed in subtly suggestive environments, surrounded by fields of patterned color, evoking scenes of violence, anxiety, confusion, and elation.

The Composites series explores identity, stereotyping, traditional portrait photography, and profiling. The figures do not exist - they are constructed digital portraits made by layering found Internet photos. I am curious about our society’s need to order, organize and classify; and how this affects the way we think about people that have little in common other than death.

The On Absence project is comprised of 300 site-specific photographs taken of an empty Brooklyn sky - specifically, the void once inhabited by the World Trade Center buildings. The piece, influenced by my experiences collaborating with children that lost a parent on 9/11/01, integrates notions of place, absence, and bereavement.

The Headshots images explore themes of identity, adolescent culture, portraiture, and stereotyping. All of the images depict portraits of the subjects found in standardized poses, such as yearbooks, school IDs, or mugshots.

Speaker Bio: Traci Molloy is a Brooklyn-based artist and social activist. She explores adolescent culture, loss, and violence through photography, digital arts, installation, painting, and printmaking.

Molloy has exhibited her work in over 130 different venues. Select venues include: Taller Boricua (New York City), SPACE (Pittsburgh), Ruby Green Gallery (Nashville), IPCNY (New York City), The Shore Institute of Contemporary Art (Long Branch, New Jersey), Triple Candie (New York City), the Kansas City Artists Coalition, The Contemporary (Atlanta), Artemisia (Chicago), SPACES (Cleveland), and the Columbus Museum of Art (Columbus, Georgia). Her artwork has been reviewed in national and regional publications, including Art Papers, Review Magazine, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Reader, and Creative Loafing. She has been interviewed on NPR in Atlanta and eHarlem TV in New York.

Her collaborations have been exhibited in Johannesburg, New York City, Tokyo, Washington D.C., Atlanta, and Cleveland, and featured on Good Morning America, WPIX Channel 11 News (New York City), WCVB Channel 5 News (Boston) and CBS Evening News (Atlanta).

Molloy has participated in residencies at the Lower Eastside Printshop, the Newark Museum, and the Delaware Center for Contemporary Art (forthcoming).

Molloy lectures regularly at colleges, universities, and art and education based conferences about her work and her collaborations.

Sponsored by: thINK Printmaking Club,  Paper Fox Printmaking Workshop, the Roy H. Stark Fund, and the Art & Art History Department