Tattoo Blog

Art that adorns the flesh…

Cooler Than You.

June 29th, 2009 by

In the past I’ve written several posts about the various manners in which tattoo art is making its way into the mainstream.  I see now that I was wrong all along.  Tattoo art isn’t making its way into the mainstream, tattoo art is the mainstream.  And if you need proof of that as I apparently did, then you should read this article from The Baltimore Sun.

It never surprises me to see a new addition to the tattoo art on (insert object here), but now it seems as though companies are scrambling to find a surface to display any form of tattoo art possible.  Ami James, star of “Miami Ink”, for example, has designed the “Do Not Disturb” door hanger signs for the Dana Hotel and Spa in Chicago.

Don’t get me wrong, I have no objection to Ami making a buck – I know that he’s just a squirrel trying to get a nut too, and all that – but some of this is just starting to feel a little bit, well, I don’t know…a bit much, I guess.  I can only speak from my personal standpoint, obviously, but my personal standpoint is that tattooing has never been about trying to fit into that whole is it cool or isn’t it scene.  Tattooing, I think, has always been above all that, without ever adopting a holier than thou attitude.  When I hear or read things like this:

“The look is popular with hipsters,” says Allan Gordon, president of Wholley Sheet, a Los Angeles company that markets the Ed Hardy Home Collection. “People who are ‘fly’ love the look.”

Hipsters?  The same guys that wear skinny jeans and sport Keffiyeh scarfs around their necks? Those guys? Hey, no offense guys.   If you want to wear skinny jeans and Keffiyeh scarfs, then more power to you.  But do we have to quantify tattoos in the process?  Do they need to be made into something exclusive, something that defines who is cool and who isn’t?

At one point, people who had tattoos were considered bad, outlaws, troublemakers.  It seemed that you were either a good person with no tattoos, or a bad person who had tattoos.  The idea that a tattoo could dictate what type of person you were was laughable to those who knew better, but still widely regarded to be true by society in general.

My point is that tattoo has never excepted the notion of being or acting as any sort of judge.  Tattooing just is what it is: a personal and permanent artistic expression.  That’s the way that it should be.  So when people talk about hipsters and how “fly” (seriously, I can’t believe that dude used the word “fly”) people like tattoo clothing and products, well…I get a little defense. 


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