So, here I am in Southern California and it is simply great! There is so much to see and experience. And there are a considerable number of tattoo artists out here. Shop after shop after shop after shop… everywhere you look there is a place to get a tattoo.
On the flip side, looking at people walking on the sidewalk, in the shopping areas, at Starbucks and in restaurants I can tell you that there are a lot of mediocre tattoos out here. And there are many BAD tattoos out here. By bad, I mean sloppy, blurry poorly spaced and shaded – ugly coloring… stuff where little thought was obviously given to the work.
I think many people simply don’t have a good frame of reference. How do you know what an amazing tattoo looks like if you don’t experience them? Many people can’t recognize what makes an artist an artist. Granted, for some people a tattoo isn’t about the art, it is about the ritual and the tattoo is sometimes nothing more than a mark of defiance or rebellion. A way to be different and stand out in a crowd.
But there is also the potential for GREAT art to be achieved in the form of a tattoo. Living art on a living canvas. Emotional art, spiritual art, inspirational deep meaning and even dark and scary – a tattoo artist can go in many directions and tell a story with imagery that is unmatched and unequalled in any other medium. I’ve seen it first hand, where tattoo artists have already transitioned to creating unique designs, illustrations and hyper realistic tattoos that are unique in all the world. There is definite potential for this artistry to reach new and meaningful height surpassing and defying traditional drawing on traditional media.
As I continue my journey, capturing the dimensionality of tattoo artistry with my 36 perspective camera array, I am starting to reveal to myself and others what is possible – to capture a moment in time where a living piece of art can be revealed, studied, enjoyed and experienced. It is a privilege to photograph something so new and unique in a way that preserves the true look and shared space experience that is a tattoo.
The best tattoo in Southern California? I’m looking for it… I know it’s out here somewhere.