Monthly Archives: March 2013

Tattoos — The Oriental Rug Effect


We are in the midst of an exploding art renaissance. It has all of the traditional things – apprenticeships, skills and tools of the trade, patrons, collectors, teachers, critics, genius and idiocy… Experimentation with pigments, inks and exploring canvas in a new way- a living canvas with its time-lapse degradation and fading – restoration and cover up. Welcome to the world of tattoos.

The similarities to the art renaissance of Da Vinci’s time are striking. But there is something troubling and that is what I call the oriental rug effect (ORE). When I look at the way tattoos are depicted on the internet and in magazines I am struck by all that is missing in those depictions. Like furniture on an oriental rug, so much is covered up and hidden from view. Indeed, in many cases the tattoo is treated like a design element, again like an oriental rug. To change the feel of the image, but not something that stands alone to be studied and enjoyed. Pleasing visual noise, like jewelry, a nice hair style and well applied makeup.

Is a tattoo just visual noise? Is it worthy of the moniker true art?

Well, I have seen mind blowing tattoo works of art. Stunning detail, color, use of human body topography in ways that are incredibly creative, inventive, thought provoking… Works that deserve detailed study and appreciation like an impressive music performance, work of poetry, painting or sculpture.

The standard for the way we look at tattoo imagery needs to change. A well crafted tattoo deserves a viewing audience, but just like the world famous violinist Joshua Bell who was relatively unnoticed when he played in a New York Subway station (http://www.hoax-slayer.com/joshua-bell-subway.shtml ) people must become educated to appreciate works by skilled artisans.  This can be fostered through the way the art is depicted.

This is one of the reasons why I’ve been working so hard to perfect AMPED 3D and AMPED 360 imagery.

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Debut of AMPED360 At Sacred Tattoo/Gallery NYC


I’ve made it my mission to change the standard for the way tattoos are displayed on the web.

While it would be great to have a 3D free view computer display (still a few years off), a rotational image provides motion parallax and depth cues much more than a flat static image. That standard is relatively easy to implement given that javascript is a uniform standard across all computer/mobile browser platforms. So, that’s what I’m doing.

I’m going about it in a few steps.

First, I built a 50 camera array that makes it easy and inexpensive to acquire lots of rotational imagery. I’ve been experimenting with it here in my studio for a few months and I finally have it ready to try out on the road. Sacred Tattoo/Gallery in New York city has been very generous to allow me to bring the rig to their location in Soho (Broadway and Canal street) and I will debut the rig to an audience of tattooers and their clients taking free images for two days. As an added bonus, Almont Studios is having a model search for an AMPED 3D image based upon Facebook likes. Details can be found here: http://amped360.com/models.html If you have a great tattoo, I’d encourage you to come to the event – you might land a job!

Second, I’m offering image programming and hosting so that the images can be easily placed on social media and web pages. Unlimited rotational image hosting starts at less than $10 per month (two plans, $60 for 6 months or $100 for a year). Everyone gets to try it out for one month free.

Third, I’m going to launch a kickstarter project to produce a do it yourself video on how to take multi perspective photographs with one or more cameras. That way ALL tattoo artists can start taking rotational images. Additionally, plans include adding more rigs and taking them to tattoo conventions around the world and acquiring imagery for artists and for AMPED 3D image exhibitions as part of the events.

Come on down to Sacred on March 17 or 18 and see what all of this is about! I’ll be showing AMPED 3D images and a new rotational display that is very cool and perfect for presentation of rotational imagery.

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