By Indigo del Castillo
Sculptor Jessica Harrison has forever changed how we see Victorian-era ceramic figures with her works involving ladies in fancy dresses sporting badass tattoos or their own blood and guts. In this exclusive interview, she talks more about her roots as an artist and her unique take on ceramics. [read our original posts about her sculptures here and here]
How did you discover your passion for sculpture?
When I was little I wanted to work in animation – there were quite a few great children’s tv programs on in the 80’s that were made with 3D models and I decided quite early on it looked like the best job in the world to mess around with clay all day.
Let’s talk about your grotesque ceramic ladies with severed heads and misplaced body parts. Where did you get the inspiration for this collection? What was the message you were trying to convey here?
That series is called ‘Broken’ as the pieces are made using found ceramics that I have quite literally taken a hammer and chisel to.They present an impossibly fair-skinned ‘perfect’ woman and my attraction to these works was precisely because of this image they portray of the female body – my aim was to counter it and present its opposite within itself.
This was simple to do, by breaking apart the hollow cast pieces and ‘revealing’ the interior, a standard formula in Western knowledge for making discoveries about the body. The female interior is a space still laced with taboo in a way that the male interior is not, and for me this gender bias of what is most often an invisible space in our everyday lives was a fascinating and important one to address. This series, like my other works in stone, ceramics, silicone and ink comes from exploring shared ideas about the body, unraveling shared experiences of different spaces, textures and shapes.
Do you have any memorable reactions and responses regarding the macabre ceramics?
Not really, the pieces from the ‘Broken’ series are very bland to me before I break them. I think they make more sense in their altered form.
Seeing as you’ve been into sculpture all your artistic life, how difficult was it to move into tattoo art in your series about the Victorian-era ladies with tattoos?
It wasn’t difficult as it is not something different. I’m using the tattoo in this series to explore the skin space rather than creating any tattoo art itself, which is a completely different thing. Tattooing is not a painting or a drawing onto a static plane, it is incredibly sculptural, literally threading ink into a moving surface, one that has no flat surfaces.
So although the pieces are called ‘Painted Ladies’ in reference to the old term for a tattooed woman, they in fact draw from something incredibly sculptural and active in space, the skin.
The tattoo imagery I have used is all from war-time source imagery, to recall a time before the popularity boom of the tattoo when it may be pointed more towards a particular kind of harsher life. The idea was to present opposing outer layers, contrasting skins, where masculine illustrations are intertwined with overtly over-idealized feminine costume. The viewer is presented with the question of what we are supposed to consider beautiful, which costume to believe.
How long did it take you to finish a piece?
A long time, that’s why there are only a few, and why there are unlikely to be any more!
Do you have anything you’re currently working on that we should look out for?
I have an exhibition opening at Jupiter Artland in Edinburgh this July. It’s going to be very pink…
Tattoos by Victor Policheri
Heidi Hay Tattoo
Having tattooed for the last 25 years, I’ve seen my fair share of tattoos that have healed badly due to the client simply sleeping in their bed. Usually these tattoos have incurred most of the damage, infection and hard healing from when the client sleeps with their fresh, new tattoo with unseen dangerous elements lurking in their bed. Sleeping is definitely one of the greatest moments during a new tattoo collector’s day to do the most damage to their new artwork. When people sleep, they are for the most part completely unaware of pain or minor discomforts, allowing them to be completely unaware of their new tattoo sticking to sheets, seeping onto the sheets and exposing their skin to possible other irritations to the new tattoo. Some of the most common issues while sleeping with a new tattoo is simply sticking to bedsheets, but it’s what’s on those bedsheets that matters during the healing process.
Sleep has a profound effect on our mental, emotional and physical well being! Sleep is the time the body can undergo repair and detoxification, although it can also be a determining factor in healing up well or not so well. Poor sleep patterns are linked to poor health and slow healing. Those who sleep less than six hours a night have a shorter life expectancy than those who sleep longer and naturally tend to heal slower. Getting enough sleep can also help resist infection, as some studies of healthy young adults have shown that moderate amounts of sleep deprivation reduce the levels of white blood cells which form part of the body’s defense system, preventing the tattoo from healing quickly.
There are many dangers to a new tattoo that your bed presents nightly. On average, most people don’t wash their bed sheets and pillows often enough, providing the perfect environment for dead skin cells to breed, potential infection or cellulitis to begin in a fresh tattoo. Another aspect is that most people don’t consistently shower or wash their hair before they go to bed, possibly having sweat or having been exposed to multiple situations during the day. People also can have their pets or animals sleeping next to them every night which undoubtedly brings animal fur, dander and the often overlooked feces that are on animal paws from the ground or backyard in general, which is simply horrible news for a fresh tattoo. Animal fur and dander can cause cellulitis which in worse than just a mild infection. Dander is an informal term for a material shed from the body of humans and animals, similar to dandruff. It is composed of skin cells which can be a major cause of allergies and skin infections in humans. Cellulitis is a common skin infection that happens when bacteria spread through the skin to deeper tissues. It is caused by bacteria, most often strep or staph and a cellulitis infected area will be warm, red, swollen, and tender and usually needs extra attention and antibiotics to help the tattoo heal properly. Animal and human dander are typically the biggest problems with cellulitis or skin infections in fresh tattoos.
Some tips to help avoid an infection in your new tattoo while sleeping in your bed is to first be sure to wash your sheets before you get any new tattoo. Always wash your tattoo off before bed and immediately when you awake, this will help eliminate any infectious materials that you’ve collected on your skin throughout the day before resting for 6-8 hours. Covering your new tattoo with a breathable, non-stick wrapping right before you lay down is an excellent way to help prevent infection from the beginning, it not only protects your new tattoo from sticking to your clothing or bed sheets, it also creates a barrier between you and your bed and helps keep potentially dangerous elements in the bed off of the new tattoo while the pores in the new tattoo seal up and stop seeping plasma. Remember to always wash the tattoo off and allow it dry with no lotion, etc before wrapping it at night. Wearing a protective piece of loose, breathable clothing also helps create another barrier between your new tattoo and infectious bed elements. Be sure to sleep on the non-tattooed side of your body, A pillow works great to adjust and hold your body part in a position that’s comfortable. Try to keep the body part somewhat elevated above the heart to reduce pressure and swelling on the new tattoo. Always wake up, remove wrapping and wash immediately with anti-bacterial foam wash when you wake up.
The most crucial time for a tattoo to begin the healing process is within the first five days, these are the days when a new tattoo is at the highest risk for an infection from everyday situations. After the first few days of wrapping or being very clean and safe while sleeping with your new tattoo, you can go about your normal routine of antibacterial soap, bactine, non-scented lotions or ointments depending on how you normally heal your tattoos. I personally like to mist my new tattoo with Bactine, it helps the body to heal while it’s trying to do two things. One is to fight any oncoming infection, the second thing is to simply heal and repair the tissue. The Bactine simply reduces your bodies need to dedicate white blood cells to fight infection and allows it to focus more on actually healing. Remember, the first days of how you take care of your new tattoo will determine the healing process and ultimately it’s final look!
Photo and Caption by Michal Duchek
A fascinating culture of the Igorot people brought me and my girlfriend to Kalinga. Head-hunting ceased decades ago, however, the motifs of Kalinga tattoos and the way they are being tattoed remains the same (charcoal and an orange thorn). We decided to visit this beautiful tribeswoman who is the last Kalinga tattoo artist. After a few days, long hours spent on buses and jeepneys, we were lucky to find a local guide Francis who brought us to Buscalan. We were overwhelmed how hospitable and friendly she is. Her natural beauty and her tattoo tempted me to ask her for a pose outside her dwelling.
Location: Buscalan village, Kalinga, North Luzon, Philippines
By Kailee Bradstreet
Calavera x Kim Saigh x Keep A Breast
On Tuesday June 3, surf inspired swimwear label Calavera will show their support for young women from all walks of life by launching a limited edition tattoo print swimwear collection, designed by renowned artist Kim Saigh of television show LA Ink. For each suit sold, 50% of proceeds will be donated to The Keep A Breast Foundation in an effort to raise substantial funds to support the foundation’s educational recourses and community outreach.
Two styles of the limited edition print will be available online at Urban Outfitter in the retailer’s fitness and outdoor apparel division, as well as Without Walls, and the Calavera website. To launch the collection, Calavera will host a cocktail event and film screening at creative design agency space, Nouvelle Vague (701 Venice Boulevard, Venice, CA) on Tuesday, June 3rd, from 6pm to 8pm.
The campaign focuses on the concept that “every woman’s body is a work of art,” and to relay that idea, Calavera has created a short video filmed by renowned photographer Alberto Guglielmi portraying the story behind the limited edition tulip print.
PRESS RELEASE – Venice, California, Tuesday May 20, 2014 — Surf-inspired women’s active swimwear brand Calavera is set to launch a collection of limited edition tattoo print suits, designed by renowned artist Kim Saigh of television series LA Ink. For each suit sold, 50% of profits will directly benefit the Keep A Breast Foundation, supporting their mission of breast cancer eradication by educating young people about prevention, early detection, and cancer-causing toxins.
In order to support Keep A Breast, Calavera Founder Anna Jerstrom recruited the talents of renowned tattoo artist Kim Saigh; the result is a feminine and iconic floral print, inspired by the significance of this charitable partnership. In the lead up to the launch, Anna showed her commitment and passion for the program, by having Kim Saigh tattoo the signature print on her torso.
The pink, black and grey tulip motif will be available in two styles; Calavera’s best selling “Siren” bikini top (USD $65) and the one-piece “Leotard” suit (USD $126). From June 3rd, both styles will be available for sale online via the Urban Outfitter’s fitness and outdoor apparel division, Without Walls (withoutwalls.com) and the Calavera website (calaveraswimwear.com).
“Regardless of size, shape or scars, every woman’s body is a work of art. My hope is that women will wear these swimsuits with a sense of empowerment, beauty and strength,” says Calavera Founder Anna Jerstrom.
Calavera also joined forces with renowned photographer Alberto Guglielmi, to produce a short film that visually portrays the story behind the limited edition print; from being tattooed on Calavera’s founder, being body painted on to the chest cast of a breast cancer survivor, and finally being created into a one-piece swimsuit, worn by actress and avid surfer Tanna Frederick. Professional longboarder and esteemed photographer, Kassia Meador concludes the video with an important message reading, “every woman’s body is a work of art.”
About the launch event: To launch the collection, Calavera will host a cocktail event and film screening at creative design agency space, Nouvelle Vague (701 Venice Boulevard, Venice, CA) on Tuesday, June 3rd, from 6pm to 8pm. Limited edition temporary tattoos of the Kim Saigh print will be applied to guests and the short video produced by Alberto Guglielmi screened for the first time. A customized piece of breast cast art, molded from the survivor featured in the video (casted by Shaney Jo Darden and painted by Kim Saigh) will be available via silent auction. Breast cast art is an ongoing initiative developed by Keep A Breast; taking formation plaster casts of women’s chests, and developing them into customized works of art. DJ MisterG will be playing the night’s tunes, while refreshments will be supplied by Vita Coco and Bon Affair spritzers. A “Cirque Du Soleil” aerial performer Sarah Moser will welcome guests, performing tricks in the Calavera leotard suit.
This is the latest in an ongoing collaboration between Calavera and Keep A Breast. In September 2013, Calavera hosted a “Surfing for Survivors” event at Santa Monica beach, throughout which Keep A Breast cancer survivors took to the waves, with the same vigour and bravery they used to manage their illness.
Shaney Jo Darden, KAB Founder says of the partnership, “Calavera and The Keep A Breast Foundation are two innately aligned brands, brought together by their similar missions to inspire and support young women. I hope this tattoo print suit will be worn as a reminder for women to stay active, get educated, and be empowered.”
Started by Swedish investment banker-turned-surf obsessed swimwear designer Anna Jerstrom, Calavera is a technically driven, stylish triumph. Built for riding Kauai’s curls, beachside yoga in Bali, sunning in Santorini and everything in between, these bathing suits don’t budge. In creating Calavera, Jerstrom has applied design innovations to fill a large gap in the marketplace: performance swimwear for women that can handle the most rigorous environments yet is feminine and flattering enough for the most relaxed. For more information please visit the Calavera website, Facebook and Pinterest.
About Keep A Breast:
The Keep A Breast Foundation™ is the leading youth-focused, global, nonprofit breast cancer organization, with mission is to eradicate breast cancer for future generations. Keep A Breast provide support programs for young people impacted by cancer and educate people about prevention, early detection, and cancer-causing toxins in our everyday environment. For more information about Keep A Breast please visit the website, Facebook, and Twitter.
About Kim Saigh:
Kim Saigh is an American tattoo artist and TV personality. She has been tattooing professionally for over 16 years and is best known for her work as a featured tattoo artist on the TLC reality show, LA Ink. Kim previously owned tattoo shop Cherry Bomb Tattoo Studio in Chicago before appearing on the show and now currently works at Memoir Tattoo in Los Angeles.
About Nouvelle Vague:
The launch event will be held at Nouvelle Vague, a unique creative talent agency with 25 years of experience in photography, motion and illustration. Recognized by the Sony World Awards and the International Photography Awards, the agency remains at the top of its league. For more information about Nouvelle Vague please visit the website and Instagram.
By Jason Gale
Jimmy McManus slides up his shorts and points a laser at his inked thigh to show how he can blast off unwanted tattoos.
The part-time electrician began offering the service at Chapel Tattoo in Melbourne eight months ago to address a byproduct of the global body art boom: tattoo regret. Removing the skin designs has become a roaring trade, with one in seven people expressing misgivings — some enough to spend thousands of dollars for several searing laser sessions.
‘It’s a painful reminder to choose your tattoos a bit more carefully,’’ McManus, 30, says of the procedure he’s just demonstrated on his leg.
Chapel Tattoo isn’t the only studio to begin offering to undo its handiwork, entering a new line of business as ultrahigh-powered lasers pioneered by dermatologists make the procedure safer and more bearable. The American Society for Dermatologic Surgery estimates its practitioner-members did about 96,000 removal procedures last year, 52 percent more than in 2012.
“Tattoo removal is big business,” said Andrew Timming, an associate professor at the University of St Andrews’ school of management in Scotland. Tattoo parlors doubling as removal shops are “a brilliant business model because it creates its own demand.”
It also drives growth in laser devices. Revenue from sales of aesthetic equipment by publicly traded companies expanded 20 percent annually from 2009 to 2012 and is now worth about $1.25 billion, according to Cutera Inc. (CUTR), a supplier of laser and light-based medical devices from Brisbane, California. Israel’s Syneron Medical Ltd. (FDG) says it’s the industry leader, with 28 percent of the global market.
One in five U.S. adults has a tattoo, according to a 2012 online survey of 2,016 Americans by the Harris Poll. That’s up from 16 percent in 2008. Many may end up changing their mind. Thirty-seven percent of people with inked skin regretted it after about 14 years, according to a survey of 580 people in the U.K. published in a letter to the British Journal of Dermatology last December.
A message from Kate Hellenbrand:
TODAY is the DAY!!!
PBS SPECIAL airing TONIGHT at 7:30 p.m. here in AUSTIN, Central Time~
Available on line thru their website tomorrow for the rest of the world to see.
This isn’t some crappy “reality” TV SHOW. This is a respectful overview of the real art of tattoo. It’s PBS, people!
I’ve continued to turn down “Ink Disaster” and “Tattoo Titans” and all the other crap thrown at me that is made up and disrespectful to my glorious art/craft. Thankfully, I held out. I am proud. And even though haters will pick it apart, I say: SUCK IT!
I am almost excited enough to buy a TV (which I don’t have) and subscribe to cable (which I won’t do) so gratefully I’m going to watch at Chris Kirkpatrick’s home with his lovely wife Christine. He’s the client
getting the girl with the cobra that you’ll see.
LEMME KNOW WHAT YOU THINK
And we have some photos up on the website: www.artsincontext.org
and also on the Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ArtsInContext
My favorite style tends to be illustrated realism, not even sure if that’s an actual style haha.
By Aya Lowe
The Spanish conquistadors who landed in 1521 dubbed the Philippines the Islands of the Painted Ones after the heavily tattooed locals. Nearly 500 years on, tribal tattooing is almost extinct. Aya Lowe met the islands’ last practitioner and those trying to keep the tradition alive.
For more than eight decades, Whang-Od has been inking the headhunting warriors and women of her Kalinga tribe.
Using the traditional “tapping” style, dating back a thousand years, she hammers ink into the skin using the spike of a calmansi (lime) tree attached to a bamboo stick that has been dipped in wet charcoal.
The simple designs are evocative of the nature around her in the mountainous region of the Cordilleras – outlines of centipedes, trees and snakes or basic geometric patterns such as diamonds and squares.
These, she says, are “earthly messengers from the gods [that] protect you from enemies or bad spirits”.
Not for the light-hearted, this slow, primitive method is extremely painful and would have been endured for short periods only. Large tattoos might take several months to complete.
However, at 94, Whang-Od – whose own skin is etched with a variety of designs – is likely to be the last of her kind.
Training her niece
Tradition dictates that skills can only be passed down family lines. Having lost the love of her life at the age of 25 in a logging accident, Whang-Od did not marry again and bore no children.
“It can’t be passed on to anyone else,” she insists. “It has to be within the same family because if someone else who is not from the same bloodline starts tattooing, the tattoo will get infected.”
However, the young in her village are not keen on adopting the body work of their elders. Though she is training her niece to carry on her work, Whang-Od says that her young relative is more interested in her studies to become a teacher.
The preservation of tribal tattooing may, however, lie thousands of miles away in Los Angeles, where a group of dedicated members of the Filipino diaspora has been working hard to ensure the tradition is not lost.
Tatak Ng Apat na Alon, which translates as “Mark of the Four Waves Tribe”, was formed nearly 15 years ago in Los Angeles by Filipino-Americans.
Their name is a reference to the “waves” of immigrants who came to the Philippines.
The group has grown to become a global community made up of hundreds of people with Filipino heritage looking to revive the tattooing traditions of Filipino tribes by having their designs etched on their skin.
“People are sacrificing their skin to revive this ancestral form of art and make sure it is not forgotten,” says Elle Festin, the co-founder of the community.
“The only way you can find proof of designs is through oral history and artefacts. The only way to stop it becoming obsolete is by reviving the designs.”
Having left the Philippines as a teenager, Mr Festin said his journey into the world of tribal tattooing became a way for him to connect with his own heritage, something he felt he had lost growing up in the US.
“Filipinos in the Philippines don’t need to define themselves, but for the Filipino diaspora many are looking for a connection back to their heritage,” he says.
“It’s more important for them to define themselves as Filipino in a foreign country.”
Tattoos were a prominent feature among pre-Hispanic tribes of the Philippines. They acted as a corporal roadmap designating people by tribe and rank, acting as a protection charm or medal, or as permanent make-up.
Dr Lars Krutak, a tattoo anthropologist in the Visayas region of the central Philippines, says traditional tattooing practices had vanished in the region by the 1700s because of the presence of the Spanish military and the influence of the Church.
But in Mindanao, an island in the country’s far south, and the mountainous region of the Cordilleras – the home of Whang-Od – the practice survived because of the area’s remoteness and warrior tribes who successfully defended their ancestral homelands from foreign invaders, like the colonial Spanish.
People who receive a tattoo have to be of Filipino heritage. The artists work closely with their clients to research their family histories and life events to create a design.
“We were very careful about how it grew and who our tattoo artists were,” said Mr Festin. “We didn’t want it to go viral and turn into a trend like Polynesian designs. We wanted to encourage curiosity to getting people talking about the meaning behind the markings.”
In 2008, Mr Festin made perhaps the most important pilgrimage in his career as a tattooist when he returned to his homeland to visit Whang-Od and the Kalinga tribe.
“When I first met Whang-Od I was afraid of what she would think of my designs, especially as they were modified from original form,” he said.
“But she was impressed with my tools and asked me to tattoo her. You could tell she was experienced by the way she lay down and stretched her skin.”
While the sight of a fully tattooed man or woman is becoming a rarity in the Philippines, it is this small dedicated group of enthusiasts, far across the ocean, that is keeping the art form alive, hopefully for many decades to come.
About the author: Based in Manila, Aya Lowe writes business, travel and human interest stories around South East Asia and the Middle East.
Donate to Rick Lee Peters and his family as he continues his fight against Cancer. Please help provide him peace of mind in his final days.
Rick Lee Peters received his Masters of Fine Arts with Honors from The University of Kansas. But who needs a fancy piece of paper to notice the true talents of this man. One peek at his repertoire is a clear display of a truly wonderful, creative and talented man who our Universe is preparing to take away due to Cancer.
He began his battle about a year ago and we all had hopes that he would pull thru this routine procedure. The other side of the curtain must need some funny, bright new personalities and probably some new artwork!
As Rick prepares for a battle that his body no longer has control over, his family – his beautiful wife Jill, his son Tim and daughter Aimee, his grandchildren and a long list of loved ones and friends take comfort in being able to see and speak with Rick, and share encouraging hugs during these final days. His good humor helps everyone ease thru an extremely heartbreaking and difficult process.
Of course – with any medical battle there are costs involved. Not only the hospital and treatment bills, but cost of living expenses, final resting costs, and the stress of being able to provide for loved ones once that fateful day has come. One of Rick’s requests is to have a simple heart shaped headstone -even the most modest design is worth a mint.
Rick has provided this World with laughs, smiles, love and brightness – not only thru his amazing being but thru the beauty of his artwork. Whether you knew him in person or not – his paintings and sketches will spread a smile across your face and in your heart.
Skip the line at Starbucks and donate that $5 to someone who really matters. No amount is too small or too big. Every little bit helps. Please donate and share this fundraiser with others.
Thank you and much peace.
For donations, please visit: http://gfwd.at/1oQHJQO
Lastrites.tv: A NEW and Online Community
New York, May 2014 – Last Rites is excited to announce the launch of its brand new website, Online Community and Forum. Lastrites.tv will serve as the umbrella site for both Last Rites Tattoo Theatre and Last Rites Gallery, uniting the two separate meccas for the dark arts under one roof, alongside the birth of the Last Rites Online Community. Although Last Rites Tattoo Theatre and Last Rites Gallery will still exist independent of one another, we hope this new site will make it easier for our patrons to enjoy all the talent and beauty under one roof, similar to our space at 325 West 38th Street in NYC. Our intention is to provide a digital space to serve as a comprehensive community of like-minded individuals that have a true appreciation for the dark side of art.
We’ve designed the structure of the website to make your journey simple yet visually stimulating as you peruse all facets of the dark art world that is Last Rites. Our main navigation gives constant access to Last Rites Tattoo Theatre, Last Rites Gallery, the Last Rites Store, Forum and Online Community. Each category gives you access to drop down menus allowing you to choose which component you wish to explore. Further, we have integrated social media streams, videos, appointment forms, a forum and tons of images for your viewing pleasure! It is our hope that our patrons will browse and interact with the art and one another on our platform through our Forums and Online Community.
Paul Booth truly wishes to unite friends, fans, and enthusiasts from both the Fine Art and Tattoo worlds. His inspiration and aspirations can now be accessed through the free Last Rites Online Community and Forum. The Online Community will allow visitors to create their own profiles, photo and video albums, chat, and interact with the website fully, including commenting and liking on artwork and pages. The Forum will offer a wide array of subjects to ponder and discuss, also accessible from logging on to the Online Community. It is our hope that these avenues of discussion and social sharing will allow you, without the restricting guidelines of censorship, to explore, contribute and embrace the dark arts.
Lastrites.tv is also mobile friendly and easily accessed from all smart devices. We hope our site proves to be ergonomic and a haven for all friends, fans, and enthusiasts.
Last Rites Gallery
325 West 38th st #1 NYC
By Kevin Miller
This video by the Sunrise morning show in Australia has a lot of people upset, and for good reason. There’s too many ignorant statements to count throughout this segment, but the woman at approximately 1:00 takes the cake. She starts off comparing tattoos as a fashion statement, and then she informs everyone they’ll regret their decision to get tattooed. Oh, and she also discusses how men don’t find tattoos attractive and pokes fun at one of the tattoos they show as a visual example.
I tried to figure out who each one of these women were by using the ‘Meet our Team’section on the Sunrise website. Unfortunately all of their face lifts and botox sessions make them blend together.
I already sent my feedback to Sunrise using their Contact Us section on their website, and I would encourage you to do the same. Let’s tell Sunrise and theirs ‘news team’ what a bunch of ignorant assholes they are.
A tattoo exhibition? You mean, not in the corner of a tattoo convention? In a real museum? Well, it’s for real, and it’s happening now in Paris, at the Museum du quai Branly, which is quite famous for showing high quality exhibitions, usually specialized in anthropology and ethnology. And it is now showing “Tatoueurs, tatoues” (or “tattooists, tattooed”).
Of course, having a few tattoos myself, and being both interested and a bit educated in tattoo history and techniques, I had to rush there, and report back on what this exhibit has to offer:
The exhibition was curated by Anne & Julien (who’ve been involved in the modern art scene for many years now), and advised and directed by famed French tattoo artist Tin-Tin. The goal of the exhibit, as explained by Anne & Julien, is to show how tattoo, which has existed since ancient times, has changed, developed, disappeared, and been reborn to the art we know today.
In the first part, named “from the global to the marginal,” the exhibition tells the story of tattoo throughout history, and society. You can view a mummified tattooed arm from Peru, antique tools, and amazing portraits of Algerian tattooed women. This part also explores the role of tattoos in the navy, and in prisons with, among other things, a short movie that I highly recommend: “La peau du milieu” (1957), showing the “underground” side of tattoo, at a time when the meaning was much more important than the style, which was, well, rather poor.
Then, you enter the marginal and colorful world of sideshow, circus, freaks, and…traveling tattoo artists. As a transition, there’s a very interesting “Wall of Fame,” displaying a timeline of tattoo culture, including laws, techniques, famous tattoo artists, and famous tattooed people.
The exhibition goes on with a focus on tattoo in Japan, North America, and Europe. The Japanese selection shows some stunning paintings, tattoo projects, photos of tattooed people, videos, a photo of a tattooed skin taken from a dead man (gulp! I first didn’t notice it was only a photo); other incredible artifacts include a kabuki costume painted so that it looked like a tattoo when worn by the actor. In the North America and European selections, there were more photos and prints of tattooed people, and interestingly, a copy of Samuel O’Reilly’s patent for his tattooing machine (and some modern day machines as well).
Moving through the exhibit, at this stage, museum goers now view works made by tattoo artists exclusively for this exhibition: 19 artists worked on “tattoo project” paintings, and 13 artists tattooed silicon body parts to great effect.
There’s also an exploration into the revival of traditional tattoo in Oceania and South-East Asia, displaying some impressive masks and head sculptures (I was especially impressed by those), traditional tools, as well as modern tattoo projects. There’s further cultural discussion of tattoo in China, the Latino and Chicano cultures in the US, among others.
At last, the exhibition ends with the “new generation” of artists, such as Yann Black and the “Art Brut” movement in tattooing, as a nod to the future of the art.
To read the rest of this article, go to: http://www.needlesandsins.com/2014/05/tatoueurs-tatoues-musee-du-quai-branly.html