Monday, April 8, 2013

Your Body of Art: Tattoo Lecture at Smithsonian

Photo/Tattoo by Kurt Fagerland
One of my favorite tattoos was done by friend and master artist Amy Black of Richmond VA. If you know me, you know that I really love it and take good care of it; as would anyone who made a big, awesome, artistic investment like this one. I love getting tattooed and the only restriction is, well, $$$. And time, I guess. 

A few months ago, Ms. Black was a panelist of an event hosted by the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts called "The Art of Tattoo." This presentation examined the historical affections of popular tattoo symbols. No kid gloves; the Museum was treating tattoos and body art like any other legitimate visual art forms. I think it's very cool that major institutions of art and culture are beginning to take a serious look at tattoo culture in a smart and engaging way.

The conversation has  now reached DC. The Smithsonian Institution is hosting a tattoo themed talk next week. "Tattoos: Your Body of Art" is scheduled for Thursday April 18, 2013 at the Ripley Center (1100 Jefferson Drive, SW). The program is $20 for members and $30 for general admission.

The conversation looks to be pretty wide ranging and includes a tattoo anthropologist / television show host and the owner of DC's British Ink, among others. You will get to listen to some great stories and inspiration and perhaps have a chance to share your own. 

Just as an aside; sometimes there isn't a story behind a tattoo. And that's OK. I have a few without "a story." People get upset that there isn't deep meaning each individual piece. OK. Get over it. Every now and then you dream a weird idea and boom, a week later it's right there on your forehead. Nah, just kidding. I usually wait at least a month.

On the flip side, others I have are rich with historical significance and a couple have some personal connection to friends and family. Either way, the art has to shine through. That's what this talk is about. I love hearing people spin a yarn about their tattoos. Storytelling with visuals.

Here are the details for the Smithsonian talk:

What: Tattoos: Your Body of Art Evening Lecture. 
When: Thursday, April 18 - 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. - $20 Members / $30 Gen. Admission
Where: S. Dillon Ripley Center. 1100 Jefferson Drive, SW. Metro: Smithsonian (Blue/Orange Lines)