Tattoos once considered the domain of rebels and those trying to make a point against the establishment have today taken on a whole new dimension. They are no more frowned upon in high places and are worn with pride. Almost one in five Americans sport a tattoo and the notion that HR executives have a thing going against tattoo wearers during interviews is also slowly fading away. Tattoo artists are a much revered lot today and a top one like Nikko Hurtado has about a million followers on Instagram, something that few paint and canvas artists can boast of. However, the sign that tattoos have really arrived on the scene is the establishment of regular tattoo museums and tattoo auctions that take place around the world.
However, before going on to the subject of tattoo art galleries it will be relevant to understand why tattoos have become so popular today and the consequent rise of tattoo art. In the not too distant past, tattoos were considered to be permanent etchings for life that could only be removed by painful surgeries and skin grafting. Not anymore! Look for an IPL laser machine for sale in Australia or in whichever country you might be based in and buy one for your beauty salon and spa. These machines are very effective for tattoo removal and can effectively eliminate a tattoo after few sessions of treatment. After the skin over the area has healed another tattoo can be etched on that area. This has resulted in the rise in recognition of tattoos as an integral part of lifestyles and an as art form.
Tattoo art galleries fundamentally do not follow the business model of conventional art where buying, selling and displaying works of art is the norm. Exhibitions of various artists are held periodically at the galleries and replaced by fresh artworks or a new artist altogether. But for tattoos, the norm is slightly different. Take the case of a travelling exhibition that is linked to Richmond’s Virginia Museum of Fine Arts that left on a tour recently. It has life size photographs of traditional Japanese tattoo art taken by renowned photographer Kip Fulbeck. Such types of tattoo exhibitions and show of tattoo art in specialised tattoo galleries are becoming very common today.
The question that often arises is whether tattoo art is really worthy of being displayed in galleries or museums. There are conflicting views on this. Unlike performing arts, tattoos are not objects that can be displayed on a wall or in a glass case. There have been instances where skin grafting has been sentimentally resorted to for preserving the memories of the owner after death. There is a school of thought that says that a tattoo’s true worth and beauty only comes alive on the skin and making it stationery through photos makes it lose its charm.
However, tattoo art galleries are present all over the world and people flock here to get a firsthand knowledge of the intricate art of etchings on skin.