Saturday, April 17, 2010
This month in Boston, both the Museum of Fine Arts & the Institute of Contemporary Art have simultaneously opened exhibitions featuring the art of the tattoo. The exhibit at the MFA, entitled "Under the Skin: Tattoos in Japanese Prints" explores the historical side of this ancient art form through it's extensive collection of Japanese prints. While the ICA presents the first US solo show for the contemporary Mexican tattoo artist known as Dr. Lakra. The fact that both of these prestigious art institutions are giving the nod to the medium of tattooing, gives, what is generally thought of as an underground art form, a greater sense of authenticity. I myself do not have any tattoos nor do I wish to, but I do confess to enjoying the guilty pleasure of looking at tattoo books & magazines. Perhaps now I can take the "guilty" part out of the equation. In searching for some images to share with this post, I discovered an array of websites on the subject. Some of my favorites can be seen here , here & here. Weather one likes tattoos or not, it is impossible not to acknowledge the artistry involved in these finer examples. It certainly does seem, with the shows at the MFA & the ICA, that the art of the tattoo has come of age in Boston, when, interestingly enough, less than ten years ago tattooing was actually banned in the state of Massachusetts.