Saturday, March 19, 2005
The Meaning of Tracy Partridge
The other day I was coming out of the Jewel parking lot and almost hit another car (for real) because I became temporarily stunned by a large, vaguely Lichtensteinish portrait of Tracy Partridge in an art gallery window dead ahead. For any non-formerly devoted Partridge Family fans, like myself, this represents something of a mystery. Tracy was one of the two youngest, quietest, Partridge kids, generally offering no more than one deadpan "zinger" per episode. (Zinger being defined here as "marginally humorous line that usually observed the strange behavior of the adults present with keen wit and precision.") Notably, I think, Tracy, and her male counterpart sibling, Chris, rarely offered any facial expression in a pre-Botox era, and I cite this as notable with regard to the painting, because there was little about Tracy to distinguish her as being someone you might want to paint a portrait of thirty years later. Danny, oh yeah. He is so VH1 Behind the Music, with his drug addiction and the whole sleeping with the transvestite/hiding in the closet thing and subsequent reinvention as talk-show host and radio personality. Plus, he was the one on the show with a real personality, which I say as a completely biased, formerly devoted Danny fan. (Come on, everyone loved Keith, but even at ten I found him obvious. I'd put italics on "obvious" here but every time I try to italicize I delete the whole entry. So try to read them italically.) Danny was funny, and in my ten-year-old mind, complex. And was I so right? I think I was. So I could see where someone might paint Danny, as a metaphor for any number of things not the least of which might be redemption. No seriously. But Tracy? I just can't read it. Is the comic-book style of painting meant as a metaphor? And if so, a metaphor of what?