Tattooing as an Art Form and the Coorelation Between Bodies and Galleries By Jason Anthony
Tattooing is an art form as much as it is a learned skill set, as are traditional art forms such as painting and drawing. This is something I’ve understood for a while and I’m constantly reminded of, whether it’s seeing some new amazing piece posted on Instagram, or the random person that I run into on the street assuring me that it ‘really is art’ after seeing the mess that I’m wearing on my arms. Many people would agree with this.
Tattooing in this day and age has evolved past the simple folk imagery of traveling carnivals and shops filled with hand painted flash-images all created by the artists that work there. We now live in an age where, for the most part, people don’t walk into a shop and pick something off the wall. People are looking for a custom tattoo, and if you’re not able to draw up a good-looking one (sometimes with extreme brevity) then there’s a good chance that tattooing may not be a terribly fruitful endeavor for you.
People expect a higher level of quality in their tattoo-artist, as opposed to someone who can successfully trace the lines and fill the colors exactly the way the picture on the wall looks. Clearly, I’m driving home the point that we’re at a point in history where tattooing is truly coming into it’s own. Some pieces are composed so well, and rendered so flawlessly that they rival half the things I’ve seen in art museums and can stand up to a very hard critique.
That being said, in the event that you’re at an art museum meandering around and taking in all the paintings, drawings, sculptures, and various exhibits, would you at any point think it’s okay to maybe take a painting off the wall and hold it up to the light just to get a better look at it? Would you run your finger across the canvas just to see what the texture was like? You might, and if you weren’t escorted off the premises you would at the very least be reprimanded and warned not to do so again.
With this in mind, I wonder what makes some people think that they have the liberty to grab another person to get a better look at a tattoo that someone has. I promise that the person being grabbed is aware that they have an amazing piece of art on them. I also promise that most of the time they are very annoyed about being groped by a stranger, no matter how innocent the gesture may be. You don’t go snatching glasses off of someone’s face if you think you like the frames their wearing, or slip a pair of flops off their feet to see if they’ll look good on you. Don’t grab people. It’s rude. It’s intrusive. In some cases it may get you punched in the face or have you washing pepper spray out of your eyes.
If you absolutely must see someone’s tattoo then politely ask. If they don’t mind then I’m sure they’d be happy to show it to you, and you probably won’t even have to touch them at all. If they don’t want to show it to you or even bother to acknowledge your request, then as an adult you should be able to accept that rejection and continue grocery shopping, lurking the mall, walking to the light rail stop, or carrying on with whatever event is current in your life. If you can’t accept the rejection then that’s another discussion for another time, and you probably have some part of you still left undiscovered and should go on a road trip by yourself with a great mix tape (read playlist). What I’m getting at here is that a tattooed person’s body is like a museum, please ask ? don’t touch.