Tattoo Forever is exhibited at the Contemporary Art Museum Macro Testaccio in Rome, Italy and is going to last until the 24th of July
The art director of Tattoo Forever is no other than tattoo artist and lacework master Marco Manzo (See Marco Manzo: Interview With A Haute Couture Tattoo Artist). His main goal is to welcome tattoos into the contemporary art world.
"This particular event is being felt as a historical moment" Marco says to Tattoodo. "Tattoo artists are showing paintings, sculptures, photographs, and graphics that represent art in every form, not only tattoos. In the contemporary art, you can work on different materials, and now the skin has become a new canvas for the art."
Tattoo Forever has been divided in different sections. In the International Contemporary Artists section, visitors can admire the work of Paul Booth, creative duo Simone Pfaff and Volker Merschky, Nicholas Baxter, Stefano Alcantara, Colin Dale, Chaim Machlev (Dotstolines), Joe Capobianco, Neon Judas (aka David Rinklin) as well as Yomico Moreno.
While some of the invited artists are building bridges with history and tradition, especially with ethnic tattooing, others are experimenting with contemporary art. The exhibition perfectly covers all the diversity and cultural richness of contemporary tattoo art.
"it doesn’t really matter if I am using a tattoo machine, a pen or a brush... I am aware that I’m creating something artistic.."
Black and grey master Paul Booth talks about the exhibition, and the necessity of viewing tattoo artists as genuine artists:
"In my earlier days as a tattoo artist, as I started exploring the fine art world, I found much of it to disregard me and my peers as true artists simply because we created our art on skin. This would infuriate me as I put the same creative energy into a tattoo as I would in a painting. It's just another medium... and a much tougher one to master. However, in the last 10 years, that close-minded attitude is fading away as tattoo artists are now getting more of the respect and attention they deserve. This particular exhibit is a true example of that change and I am proud to be a part of it."
Handpoke artist Colin Dale speaks about the revival of tattooing in traditional cultures:
“I’m a former Clinical Illustrator with a degree in Fine Arts. I’ve been tattooing for over 20 years now helping reintroduce tattoo designs and tools to traditional cultures who have lost the tradition. My work with Experimental Archaeology has helped to revive the tattooing practices of Scandinavia, Native North American and the Inuit cultures."
Many Italian contemporary names were also present. Amongst them Murran Billi, Alex De Pase, Andrea Lanzi, Antonio Proietti, Roberto Borsi, and, of course, Marco Manzo.
“When I do a portrait it doesn’t really matter if I am using a tattoo machine, a pen or a brush... I am aware that I’m creating something artistic and the materials are not important. This is because art has no limits.” confirms realism master Alex De Pase.
"Classic art represented and taught the rules of beauty, tattoo [art] has shown the ones of your soul." states his colleague Antonio Proietti.
Tattoo Forever also gathers collections of art coming from various artists such as stylists who created dresses, comics illustrators, sculptors and other contemporary designers.Tattoo artists responded with their own sculptures, paintings and artistic pictures of their favorite tattoos.
A part of the exhibition is also dedicated to German journalist and photographer Michael Laukien, also known as Travelin’Mike, who has captured tattoos as identity signs around the world for decades.
The inauguration of the exhibition was a great success, with all
eyes on special guest, international actress and director Asia Argento,
tattooed by Marco Manzo.
"Press is talking a lot about Tattoo Forever." confirms Marco. "At the moment, we are working on including new performances to the exhibition such as theatrical events, book presentations and live shows."
So if you are visiting Europe or Italy this summer, rush over to see
this unique and prestigious exhibition that celebrates tattooing as an art, and tattooists as genuine artists. You can find more info on the Facebook page of Tattoo Forever.