The Tattoo Project:
Here on the pages of the Vanishing Tattoo, professional photographers conspire with the tattooed community to explore the eternal question, “Who am I?”
Making fine art out of tattoo art—that was the challenge confronting 11 of Vancouver’s best photographers over the May, 2010 long weekend, as they sequestered themselves in one of Vancouver's premier studio spaces, in the heart of the city, Vancouver Photo Workshops. A hundred highly tattooed people exposed themselves to a dozen diverse photographic philosophies. Here, you see the results, photographer by photographer, Photo Gallery by Photo Gallery.
The portrait camera and the tattoo—both profess, or pretend to reveal character.
Richard Avedon said of portrait photography: “A portrait isn’t a fact, only an opinion.”
It’s true that the surface is all we’ve got. But what if that surface is adorned with images? Are tattoos symbols of a secret self? An attempt to bring the inside out? To reveal ourselves to the outside world? If tattoos are so meaningful, shouldn’t that influence the portraitist’s ‘opinion’?
The fine art images that emerge from this experiment constitute a gallery exhibition unlike any other. It’s here that artists, critics, and the public at large weigh in:
Is the portrait a likeness—or is it a revelation?
Body. Art. Image: a synthesis of portraiture and tattoo art that poses the eternal question, Who am I?
Marathon shoot of inked skin results in revealing picture book -- Read the Vancouver Courier article about the coffee table book that resulted from this marathon photo shoot here.
Read Bob Baxter's account of the Tattoo Project Weekend.