Tattoo Artistry (and Shock Value)

Let me begin by saying that I appreciate tattoo art. The skill of a talented tattoo artist cannot be underestimated in my mind. (I have two tattoos, but since I work in Corporate America, they are easily hidden but can also be visible during weekends, if I so choose.) I am in awe of how they can create a permanent piece on a living, breathing canvas.

I need to acknowledge that there are some really bad tattoos out there and for those people, I feel somewhat sorry, but it’s not for me to live with it. Maybe that’s how they intended it to look. Art is in the eye of the viewer and the artist.

On the flip side – there are some truly STUNNING pieces of art out there. Ranging from the simple to the amazingly complex. I am in awe of the people who create the art and those who display it.

I was recently chatting with colleagues, the conversation turned and I brought up a fascinating piece of art that a friend introduced me to several years back. Now, I need to caveat this by saying – it’s graphic and inappropriate in many circles [do NOT google this at work] – but I am FASCINATED. This piece has brought up a myriad of comments/questions that repeat in my head each time I view it:

– Ouch.

– What would possess a person to do this?

– Who drew this? Or was it a combined effort between artist and human canvas?

– In what state would a person have to be to endure this? And agree to it?

– The intricacies of the design are stunning.

– Wow. Just wow.

And those are only a few of my thoughts. I could go on and on as I’ve looked at this piece many times over the years – in pure fascination and awe. I mean, really – tattoos ARE forever. So, if you are intrigued, please search for “Puff the Magic Dragon tattoo,” but I am warning you – the song will never be the same. Also – the images are not for the faint of heart.

I’m all for artistic license and creativity, which may be why a) I find this piece so fascinating and b) I think tattoos are amazing. Each piece is at its core so personal. I love that people can tell a story with a picture that they carry with them. And truly, tattoos have been around for thousands of years for religious and social reasons. It’s a beautiful tradition of which to be a part.

6 thoughts on “Tattoo Artistry (and Shock Value)

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  1. I love tattoos too, like you especially one that tells a story. My brother has loads (good thing he works in the music industry so he doesn’t really need to hide it at work). His wife has three but like you, but unlike my brother has to hide it. They recently celebrated their wedding anniversary by getting inked by a very old famous tattoo artist in her 90s in the Philippines where I’m from. You can read about my brother and sister-in-law’s experience here:
    I’m only sharing it, because it really is interesting and if you’re into tattoos, definitely worth reading. All the best, Dean.

  2. Years ago I read an article about tattoos of Chinese symbols. Apparently, some tattoo artists create fake Chinese symbols and say they mean something. Worse yet, some artists don’t do the symbols in the correct way and it changes the meaning entirely!

    1. Scary, right?
      It is worth the extra money to ensure you get the tattoo you want.
      One if my favorite stories was via a friend/former professor of mine. One of his students had a lower back tattoo that said, “Carp diem”….. ummmmm…

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