Tattoo Blog

Art that adorns the flesh…

A Different Kind of Sting

July 8th, 2010 by

This is the 80th day of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.  Crude oil continues to pour into the gulf, destroying the environment, the wildlife and the livelihood of far too many residents to mention or even comprehend.  I don’t want to keep on about this topic on the Tattoo Blog, but I feel so strongly about trying to organize or at the very least get information out there for people wanting to make a difference, that every time I see or hear something new, I have to get it up here.

Last week I wrote a post about Tantrix Tattoo in Saskatoon, Canada.  Today Leanne from Tantrix commented on that post, informing us that Tantrix raised $1,190 in five hours.  On November 20th, 2010, the folks at Tantrix will hold yet another tattoo fundraiser for the turtles and they have also added sea birds to their list of animals needing a share of the donations.  Awesome work you guys, it’s so damn nice to see people getting involved and inspiring others like this.

Today I also stumbled across an article about Bobby Pitre, a Louisiana tattoo artist and owner of Southern Sting Tattoo in the town of Larose.  Pitre has seen the community and environment that he grew up in devastated by the BP oil spill.  He’s understandably outraged and has since begun to transfer his rage into his art.  Aside from once in high school, Pitre had never actually painted a portrait until the BP oil spill occurred on April 20th.  But now Pitre has a renewed purpose to pain and this comes directly from his anger at BP management and the disaster that they’re responsible for.

“I was in a bad place. That’s why I started painting these,” he said recently. “This is my way of screaming to people.”        – Bobby Pitre

Aside from his paintings, Pitre has also done a mural with a fellow artist, expressing their anger at BP for the damage they’ve caused.

“…the mural incorporates a bloody torso and a wraith, cloaked in oily black and bearing a BP logo, extending its arms in a deadly embrace toward an outline of the Gulf Coast.

“You killed our Gulf … our way of life!” reads the message at the top.”

Obviously this is very important work that Bobby Pitre is doing.  No doubt it comes from a dark place, but it expresses so much more than just how Louisiana locals feel.  I think that anyone who harbors any sort of concern or anger over this catastrophe can relate to what Pitre is doing.  Now I think that the only logical next step is for Pitre to sell his artwork or at the very least organize a fundraiser of some sort where the paintings will be on display and the price of admission will go toward charities working to help with the oil spill clean up.  That might not be the best suggestion either, but when I see all these talented artists out there, it just strikes me hard that there is something that can be done if everyone bands together and works toward the one common goal of helping in the wake of this terrible oil spill tragedy.

If anyone has any suggestions how something large can be organized with the help of tattoo artists, I’m all for lending my help in the organization process.  Just let me know and I will do everything I can to help.

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