Tracy Nakayama is a contemporary American artist who lives and works in Los Angeles. She grew up in Honolulu, and studied art the School of Visual Arts in New York and the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland, California. Nakayama’s ink drawings focus on the camp aesthetic of 1970s erotic imagery, her sepia toned portraits exploring a bygone era of sexual innocence and exploration, a softcore aesthetic that she adapts to her avowedly feminist approach.
As Tracy explains, ‘My work continues to explore the practice of human sexuality by referencing pornography, film, and music. This sexual engagement transforms the glossy, iconic softcore to beautiful, delicate drawings and warm washes of colour. I never intended to capture the nostalgia of the seventies, though I am a big collector of period porn magazines. I’m mainly interested in the ephemeral quality of them, considering that most porn today exists only the internet. The images come from the sixties to the early eighties, and sometimes include friends, lovers, and acquaintances. Because my subject matter deals with female sexuality, people tend to want to sensationalise my work, but it is intended to be as honest as possible both to the times they were created and to my own views on sexuality. I spend a lot of time editing images, trying to turn the finished drawing into something that captures a specific moment which is meaningful on many different levels.’