High Ink: Tattoo Artists Out of the Parlour, Into the Gallery

Etching a tattoo into human skin does not come off as seamlessly as drawing on a blank canvas. One is known as an underground culture, while the other is seen as art. When the canvas itself becomes an image of a human body, tattooing becomes art: Tattoo artists brought together by New York Adorned’s Lori […]

poster for Patrick O’Dell and the artists of New York Adorned Exhibition

Patrick O’Dell and the artists of New York Adorned Exhibition

at WHITE BOX
in the Upper East Side area
This event has ended - (2008-07-24 - 2008-07-29)

In Photo Reports by Stephen Cooney 2008-07-28 print

Photograph © Stephen Cooney

Etching a tattoo into human skin does not come off as seamlessly as drawing on a blank canvas. One is known as an underground culture, while the other is seen as art.

When the canvas itself becomes an image of a human body, tattooing becomes art: Tattoo artists brought together by New York Adorned’s Lori Leven paired with street photographer Patrick O’Dell Thursday, July 24, 2008 for “Uncharted Waters,” part of the White Box’s Six Feet Under Summer Festival. Twelve artists each drew one-of-a-kind images during the gallery’s opening on identical O’Dell prints of a standing nude woman. As the artists covered the image with tattoo-inspired art, the crowd, sipping beer or medicine-sized cups of wine, watched over the artists’ shoulders.

The resulting portraits made the attendees feel like they were watching a living woman having her own skin engraved. The artists drew before a capacity crowd in the White Box, with more onlookers waiting outside and peering down through a glass window to get a peek at the event. The live art event was billed as a metaphor for change in the world; the transformation from nude to covered illustrating the power someone has over his or her own destiny. But the show was much just as effective at changing the popular perception of tattoo culture. The drawings become the focal point of the art, as the woman’s image faded into the background. The tattoo art extended outside of the borders of the human body onto the blue background, allowing canvas and human to blend into one collaborative piece of art.

Artists on view include:
Bryan Randolph, Daniel Santoro, Virginia Elwood, Katja Ramirez, Dana Helmuth, Chris O’Donnell, Horizakura, Stephanie Tamez, Thomas Hooper, and photography by Patrick O’Dell.

Photograph © Stephen Cooney

Photograph © Stephen Cooney

Photograph © Stephen Cooney

Photograph © Stephen Cooney

Photograph © Stephen Cooney

Photograph © Stephen Cooney

Photograph © Stephen Cooney

MORE INFO
White Box
New York Adorned

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Stephen Cooney

Stephen Cooney. Stephen is a 21-year-old journalism student at Hofstra University. He was born in Pittsburgh and probably put his hands on a camera because of his mom's immense collection of family photographs all over our house. Most of his photo work is usually in the sports or documentary realm, but he doesn't usually ever turn down a chance to use his camera. He's also an intern at Vice magazine. Aside from that he doesn't really know what else you're looking for. He spends most of his time at school helping run the campus paper and trying to put together a few documentaries on tattoo artists and graffiti artists, which is easier said than done in NYC. » See other writings

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