Tattoo Blog

Art that adorns the flesh…

Art vs Art

May 24th, 2010 by

It’s crazy that the tattoo world isn’t given the credit that it deserves as being a hotbed of artistic activity.  Even now with tattoos rising in popularity amongst the mainstream, I still feel that the actual recognition of a tattoo artist as exactly that – an artist – is all too often overlooked.  Amongst the masses, tattoo artists are still too regularly viewed as those guys (or girls) who will put that rad tattoo that you want on your body.  Case closed, have a nice a day.  Maybe I’m a tattoo snob, but seeing tattoo artists as artists and not just as people who can perform a task is the main reason why I’m totally picky about where I get tattooed.  It’s not enough simply to find a nearby tattoo shop and get tattooed, finding a talented artist is number one in the priorities department when I get tattooed. 

What’s more, it isn’t just the mainstream that has dragged its collective feet on the issue of giving tattoo artists their due props.  The artworld itself has in many cases ignored the influence, ability and creativity of the tattoo world for quite some time as well.  If anyone is to have even a basic conversation about art, there can be no leaving a particular type of artist out on the margins.  Tattoo artists create, therefore they are real artists and their work is art. 

Which leads me to my point: I’m glad to see that Le Pied de Biche (“The Crowbar”), a new art gallery in Paris, France is using their inaugaral exhibition as an opportunity to let people know that yes, tattoo artists are real artists.  The exhibition, “Art, Ink and Rock and Roll” will display the work of tattoo artists Easy Sasha, Navette and Nicoz Balboaz and is on now through June 2.

“Tattoo used to have violent associations because historically it was a way of marking a marginal life, from sailing to prison,” Ms. Khalil said. “But today, there is a new generation of tattooists who define themselves as artists before anything. That’s what I want to defend and represent.”

I couldn’t agree more.

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