Category: Art

Suds and Smiles Samantha Fortenberry

Photographer Samantha Fortenberry has created a series of photographs titled Suds and Smiles to encapsulate the joy of bath time. The collection explores the relationship between people and objects with vibrant colours, kitsch accessories and humorous staging.

Samantha also introduces  ideas of body positivity and gender equality, as she shoots both male and female nudes, all exuding a beautiful confidence.

Magnificent Obsessions: The Artist as Collector at the Barbican

Magnificent Obsessions: The Artist as Collector at the Barbican presents the fascinating personal collections of post-war and contemporary artists. Ranging from mass-produced memorabilia and popular collectibles to one-of-a-kind curiosities, rare artefacts and specimens.

The collections provide insight into the inspirations, influences and obsessions of artists, including tattoo artist Dr Lakra from Mexico – whose collection includes brightly coloured album covers from his record collection – and the renowned, and sometimes controversial, Damien Hirst – whose collection consists of human skulls and taxidermy.

Album covers from the collection of Dr Lakra. Photo by Dr Lakra Skulls on display in Damien Hirst’s house, Courtesy Murderme Collection

 

 

While some artists are connoisseurs, others accumulate hoards of objects, never letting anything go. Many make direct use of their collections and others keep them under wraps or in storage. Collecting objects for research and study is key to the practice of many artists in the exhibition. Presented alongside examples of their work, their collections help to elucidate their art.

A highlight for us is discovering that pop art king Andy Warhol is as big a fan of kitsch as we are…

Cookie jars formerly in the collection of Andy Warhol. Image courtesy the Movado Group

 

 

 

If you love quirky collections and finding out more about the artists’ creative process, this exhibition is for you. It runs at the Barbican in London from 12 February 2015 – 25 May 2015, more info at www.barbican.org.uk

 

Photos from Huffington Post

Mårwåne Pallas: This Is My Body

This Is My Body is a series created by self-taught Paris born artist Mårwåne Pallas. The composed self portraits hauntingly explore physical anatomy and the damaging ways we manipulate the human body. The collection also looks at ideas of sexuality and physical status connected with the Bible.


In The Flesh

The Making of Eve 

My Body is a Temple

This Is My Blood

Tim Walker Photography

Tim Walker creates beautiful photographs with extravagant staging and romantic motifs. His work has adorned the pages of  Vogue for over ten years and The National Portrait Gallery homes a stunning collection. We’ve picked a few of our favourites from his online archive, which ones do you love?

Lily Cole, Northumberland, Italian Vogue, June 2005

 

Malgosia Bela, Essex, Harper’s Bazaar, October 2009

 

Laura McCone & Luke Field Wright, Suffolk, Italian Vogue, September 2010

 

Pastel Cats, Northumberland, Italian Vogue, November 2000

 

Lindsey Wixson, Northumberland, Italian Vogue, January 2012

Linnéa Sjöberg and her homemade tattoo project

The Swedish artist, Linnéa Sjöberg has been turning DIY tattoos into performance art after a year of travelling around Europe taking photographs of herself and her friends tattooing themselves.  The year long project has now culminated in a book called Salong Flyttkartong with the message ‘Act Before Thinking’ where she wants to cultivate irrational chaotic thinking, “that’s the energy in the project, kind of counter-productive. It’s two opposites: act before thinking but it’s going to stay with you for the rest of your life. People need to take a stand point: some people are like, “Yeah, go ahead,” and some back off and don’t want to hear about it, they are so frightened of this idea.”

  

  

  

  

A somewhat controversial subject and now what some may seem as ‘trendy’ are homemade tattoos but Linnéa delves into the psychology of tattooing yourself and why taking control of your own body is the most powerful tool we have. One of her most powerful tattoos was of the markings a plastic surgeon made on her breasts before having a boob job, “I booked a time at a plastic surgery clinic in Manhattan and asked the doctor to draw the lines that he would follow during a breast enlargement. With those lines I went home and tattooed them in front of the mirror, by myself.”

   

 Linnéa’s book Salong Flyttkartong can be purchased here and she is also exhibiting at the Gallery Steinsland Berliner in Stockholm. More information about her work can be found on her website 

Tattoos: 150 years of body art

Susanna Kumschick, a Swiss anthropologist, has curated an exhibition in Hamburg charting 150 years of body art. “I started with skin, because I really think if you are studying tattooing, you need to look at human skin closely too,” Susanna explains. She believes that the tattoo industry has not been represented enough when discussing anthropology in relation to art and design and after much research she “was surprised that it wasn’t actually a subject in art and design museums until recently.”

Thea Duskin, Untitled 2011

Kumschick discusses how tattoos have been represented throughout history in artists’ work, “They were always inspired by the aesthetics, from early on – the human body has been a subject in art for a long time, and so is painting on the body.”

The artist Fumie Sasabuchi adds tattoos to photographs taken from fashion magazines using traditional motifs taken from the Japanese Yakuza mafia. “Tattooing is more fashionable because we show our skin much more than in the past, so it’s more of a communication medium. We should look at them closely, because it depends where you have them on your body – you’re saying different things by the location you choose. It’s normal to have one today but it’s still a statement if you put one on your face, unlike one on your chest or ankle.” The image below was created from a photograph taken from children’s magazine Vogue Angels.

She also looks at how tattoos can stigmatise certain people.  The photographer and filmmaker Christian Poveda spent a year with members of the Mara 18 gang in El Salvador, who cover themselves in tattoos marking the numbers of people they’ve killed or commemorating the death of a fellow gang member.

The exhibition is at MK&G in Hamburg until 6 September 2015.

Is it mine? Who owns my tattoo?

Tattoo artist Lain Freefall, 31, asks who owns the tattoos on your body… first published in The Identity Issue of Things&Ink.

Words by Lain Freefall / Photo of Lain by Marco Ferrari

“I was 15 when I got my first tattoo. Of course I’m not actually supposed to admit that, but it’s the truth. I walked into the small tattoo studio and picked the first one I liked from the flash sheet on the wall and off I went. I loved it. My first tattoo. At that time I’d known nothing about tattooing, where it came from or how it all came about. Never in my life did I think I was going to be in a studio 15 years later working with such amazing and talented friends and colleagues and never imagined I’d look the way I do today either.”

“We are now in a day and age where tattoos are incredibly accepted and highly fashionable. The age of “fuck you! I do what I want! I’m going to be a rock star.” We are so highly knowledgeable of “the rules” of tattooing yet fail to abide by them. Everyone “wants what he’s got” or “she has her hand tattooed! Why can’t I?” Don’t get me wrong, I’m not really complaining (why on earth would I complain about work?) just merely stating, in brief, where we stand amongst the vast amount of tattoo TV shows, books and magazines. We all, as artists, want to offer something unique, fresh and new, whether it’s through our work or our own aesthetic. It’s a tough world out there and it’s dog-eat-dog, but where do we draw the line?

“We are so lucky that we have evolved to the days where we now stand. Every tattooist and artist can draw from everything around us, past and present. The internet never ceases to amaze me with so much information to offer – even the things you don’t want the world to see, the internet will find a way to show it.

“In the very recent months, to the last few years, there has been more and more media coverage involving tattoos, including posters and commercials of celebrities, athletes or “alternative” models. I was pleasantly surprised the first time I saw a tattooed model in advertising on the underground or in a magazine – and modelling for huge brands. I had often looked at these models and wondered how much of their bodies were really covered and who tattooed them (especially if they were bloody awful!) Do they get tattooed to become models? Or are they models who made enough money to not care about being tattooed? What were their plans after tattoos if they really did  go out of style? More importantly I’d like to know how they felt about their bodies from time to time. It seems empowering to be tattooed. Even making the decision (it’s yours to make) so surely once you’ve sat down with your tattooist, discussed and agreed on the design (whether it be your idea as a customer, or you completely trust your tattoo artist) the process begins, and in time you’ll be leaving with a tattoo on your body.  A beautiful piece of art that’s been marked on you for life.

“So we get to the nitty-gritty. Who owns this tattoo? You, the customer and wearer of the tattoo? Or the artist, the person who put the idea onto the skin? This is what has recently been playing on a lot of people’s minds. In no less than a few months, I’ve heard, on several separate occasions, about law suits concerning compensation, ownership and royalties. With the uprising of tattoos and rock star lifestyles, comes money, fame and greed. What I found more deeply heartbreaking was the act of such selfishness towards our own tradesmen. Now as an artist, I’ve always seen the business/money part of my job as straightforward (even though I hate talking money). Once I’ve tattooed you, this tattoo belongs to you. This is what you have sought me out for, to basically buy an art piece from me. With all the media involved I can understand if there are general legalities that need to be signed, but as far as I’m concerned, if you’re the wearer of my tattoos, kindly mention that I was the artist of said tattoo – a credit is all I need. After all, you’re helping me along the way.

“With today’s social media, we are constantly being photographed, by photographers, people in the street and friends. It is spread across the world through Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr etc. We sign away agreements on iTunes and YouTube without even a thought as to what the fine print says, so long as we get to share what we want to – show the world as soon as possible.

“So what happens when you get a letter through the post one day telling you you’re being sued on the grounds of copyright ownership? (Yep this is happening to me right now). “What ownership? How does that work? It’s my body right?” I’m here to tell you in UK law, this might not be entirely true.

“A copyright gives the creator of an original work exclusive rights to it, usually for a limited time. Copyright may apply to a wide range of creative, intellectual, or artistic forms, or “works.” Copyright does not cover ideas and information themselves, only the form or manner in which they are expressed. Does copyright law extend to tattoo artwork? It would appear to (1) contravene privacy and image rights; (2) prevent freedom of expression under article 10 of the Human Rights Act 1998 – receiving and wearing a tattoo is akin to a choice of wearing a particular hat or having a particular hair colour; and (3) be inconsistent with the trade practice and customs of the UK tattoo industry. All UK legislation must be read to give effect to the rights established under the HRA.

“I have seen the latter first hand on paper from a lovely legal team. Things have now been settled out of court and all in the name of greed, unfortunately. This will now be a case that can arise again and, if it does, I’m here to spread the word of Human Rights. No one owns your tattoo, but you do own your body. We as artists have a right to be proud of what we have created and will want to share this with the world – same as you! However the art piece we have personally drawn up is owned by the artist, but when we bring into question the ownership of an actual tattoo, custom made or otherwise, that is when the lines are blurred and the law has no solid legislation.

“Unfortunately I don’t have a real conclusion in this article. All I can say is we are very lucky to be in an era of tattooing where we can request custom work. There will always be amazing artists with something unique to offer, a personal touch of style along with amazing all rounder tattooers (I’m still blown away by these people), but we are also now in a time where there is nothing new. We are inspired by the forefathers of tattooing and everything around us.” ❦

Beauty is not only ink deep – a tattooed photographic portrait series

Have you seen the latest project focusing on tattoos? Photographer Niall Patterson has created a personal project to show the beauty in tattoos and those who wear them. He wants to move away from the stereotypes and negative social prejudices attached to tattoos and instead show the world how truly beautiful they can be. The project is called Beauty Is Not Only Ink Deep.

Each photograph in the collection displays a quote from the person in the picture, describing how they feel about their tattoos and what they mean to them.

Images from Beauty is not only ink deep.

Valentine Tattoos – feeling the love

We’re really feeling the love, as Valentine’s Day is fast approaching. And whether it’s shape, colour or subject matter, we all have a tattoo related to love in some way… Here’s our pick of love-inspired tattoos for Valentine’s Day… can we get an “Awwwww“?

@tracydtattoos

@juliaseizure

@aimeeloutattoo

@joeellistattoo

@lizzie_bvtattoo

@domwileyart

@suflanda

@helfire