The Tattoo: Ritual, Identity, Obsession, Art exhibit is fascinating to say the least. This exhibit explains the history, the concept, the identity of tattoos while going through different cultures, backgrounds, ages, and artistic interpretations of these visually appealing aesthetic. While showcasing this amazing art, the exhibit draws people in, immersing themselves to uncover the beauty of tattoos.
The first thing you see when you enter is a panel of tattoos done by Canadian tattoo artists. This set the tone for the rest of the exhibit, with a video of tattoo artists explaining their craft. As you move throughout history, things really get under your skin.
The second continent in the exhibition was Europe. From the historic European tattooing traditions and how this tied into religion, to the first woman tattoo artist in England, Jessie Knight.
There are numerous artists with different styles throughout the exhibition and you’ll find one that makes you keep coming back to. One that caught my attention right off the bat was done by Xed LeHead. His tattoo used ink glows in the dark and is done by using a technique called dotwork. I was awestruck to say the least.
The next area is American tattoo art, and there are two names synonymous with it. Ed Hardy and Sailor Jerry. Their works were amazing to actually see in person.
Japanese tattoos and artwork were up next. Japanese tattooing is known worldwide for their representations of Koi fish and Dragons, but it’s much more than that. It encompasses a whole meaning, a feeling from head to toe. This artwork is by far one of the most stunning that I had seen throughout the day.
The New Zeland Māori tattoos and ones from other Polynesian countries were in the following area. I loved the history of these people and what these tattoos meant to the aboriginal tribes.
Finally, hidden in the corner, is Latino and Chicano tattooing. These tattoos are some of the most graphic and some of the most harrowing.
Throughout this exhibit you’ll find hidden gems but you’ll also learn about some horrendous historical regarding tattooing. This includes the history of concentration camp tattoos during Nazi Germany and the story of an Armenian woman that was tattooed to identify her as a prostitute during the time of Medz Yeghern (Armenian genocide).
You can also showcase your own tattoos by using the hashtag #RomInk on Twitter and/or Instagram and have your tattoo(s) displayed online on the Rom official website for the exhibit.
I had a great time and honestly is was one of the best exhibits I’ve been to recently. This is exhibit is on until September 5, 2016 so check it out. Maybe you’ll get some ideas for a new tattoo or for those who don’t want to go under the needle, this exhibit is simply a wealth of visual inspiration!