How often do you pass someone on the street with tattoos and stop to think Wow, tattoos have come a long way in the last 100 years? Well, if you don’t, now is the time to start.
Margot Mifflin, author of Bodies of Subversion: A Secret History of Women and Tattoo and curator of the first ever tattoo art exhibition at the Ricco Maresca Gallery, Body Electric, is quite aware of the long, enduring history of tattoos. With this latest project, it was her goal to really showcase the true artistic nature and evolution of the tattoo world as we know it. Body Electric is designed to display the progression of tattoos in today’s world starting with the late 19th century styles of copying flash to the 21st century custom works of art that clients receive from some of the top tattooists in the industry.
Though the exhibition is not focused on displaying tattoos, it works instead to lay out the artistic skills routed in ink as a whole. Whether it is the development of ‘90s tribal pieces or the tracing of the incredible influences people like Norman Keith Collins, aka the iconic Sailor Jerry, had on the industry, these trailblazing visuals take viewers through decades from flash to stencils, the intricate designs created for tattooists’ clients of today. Work from artists such as black and grey specialist Chuey Quintanar and out of the box color worker Amanda Wachob have given the tattoo industry the opportunity to see the true artistic nature that can be achieved in the art of ink within skin.
No longer is it common to see someone go into a tattoo shop and walk out with an inked image they picked off of a wall. Today, people go in for unique, commissioned pieces created solely for the individual. Thus making tattoos look more museum worthy than ever and proving that tattoos as true works of art really have come a long way in the last century.
Make sure to stop by and check out Mifflin’s Body Electric at the Ricco Maresca Gallery in New York City before it’s close on October 25th and check out the gallery below for a preview of the exhibition.