I have to admit that I’m not a big fan of tattoos however I have to admit that some are really great looking. It was difficult for me to admit tattoos as an art, even as a minor genre despite I learned that museums expose people with tattoos by famous tattooists (see link “Mona's human artwork is still sitting in an empty gallery…” on the right section of this page) . These people sit in a room as long they are alive but having firm contract of having their skin permanently exposed in same room after they pass away… Sounds sinister but… art should be for forever not only for now… if it is real art.... so I’m back to me admitting or not that tattoos are art.
My doubt where erased in September 2011 by a sudden revelation, a kind of “koan” type situation when I had the honour to read Ms. Jerry Clark comment on LinkedIn Maritime Group "Who is your favourite Maritime Artist" topic:
Ms. Clark wrote:
I'm sorry if my "tattooist" comment has caused any offence, maybe I should have said "Sailor Jerry" but please understand I am a working mariner
My late Father was a Merchant Seaman and so my Grandfather, have all had tattoos,
And Sailors tattoos have meaning that are important maritime art; it's folklore and history
We don't carry big canvases on board.
End of quote
Ms. Clark words “We don't carry big canvases on board” are following me every time when I think about art, when I think what I really like.
I think now that real art is whatever we take with us… even only in our memories and souls.
I truly believe now that tattoos, when done properly and with meaning, are art; maybe a minor genre maybe not so minor, but definitively art, a true expression of the very deep human feelings and values.
About the front picture of this page:
It was difficult to find a free picture illustrating the beauty and the complexity of the maritime tattoo but I think that the message of this front picture is great for the overall idea here:
“Try, fail, repeat”
Yes, this is a great idea to take with us every time and everywhere, same as a tattoo encrusted deep in our mind and body.
The link promised in the main section:
Tim alone: Mona's human artwork is still sitting in an empty gallery for six hours a day
Do you know that it was a Maritime Tattoo Festival every year? Fingers crossed to continue to exist…
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