Last night I was scrolling through Pinterest, looking for nothing in particular, when I came across a photo that caught my attention. It was a tattoo of a woman and child. I knew that I knew it from somewhere. It was a literal a work of art – a very famous one. Finally, after a few moments, I spoke the name that was on the tip of my tongue. Gustav Klimt.
I was amazed by this simplified rendition of Klimt’s work. I loved the placement and the coloring. As a tattoo, it took on a life of its own. I clicked on the photo, scrolled beneath it, and saw a multitude of other Klimt inspired tattoos. Entire arms, legs, backs, and shoulders dedicated to replications of his paintings.
I began to think about the artists I love most and decided to search their names followed by “tattoo”. I was stunned by the results.
People often debate over whether tattoos should be considered art or not. I think everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and I hope not to be judged for mine. I do consider beautiful tattoos to be art. I give tattoo artists a lot of credit. Many artists work on flat and immobile surfaces but tattoo artists have to morph and shape their images to work and flow with a constantly moving body. Their canvases can move, cry, scream, and even curse at them while they are trying to keep their hand steady and do their best work. They must know how to sketch, blend, and mix colors just as a painter would. They must know just how much pressure to apply on certain areas, just as a ceramist would. Tattooing is definitely not a traditional type of art, but as it becomes more and more popular, I am constantly discovering more and more talent.