Tattoo Flash


The word tattoo is said to have two major derivations- from the polynesian word ‘ta’ which means striking something and the tahitian word ‘tatau’ which means ‘to mark something’. An all-star cast of rock and roll artists including Kaws, Dash Snow, Michael Bevilacqua, Dan Colen, and Brad Kahlhamer, whose work is shown above, present their “marking” skills at “Tattoo Flash,” a group exhibition at Saved Tattoo in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The shop is owned and operated by Scott Campbell, a Brooklyn-based tattoo artist and designer known mainly for his laser-cut designs. The show celebrates art inspired by the visual legacy of tattoo flash and the rich history it encompasses. From sacred icons and tribal identification to jail tattoos and sensationalized association of tattoo design, “Tattoo Flash” explores how the tattoo has transcended all mediums and is no longer limited to markings on flesh but embraces an entire genre. The exhibited works include ink on paper, collages of reworked vintage books, lipstick-kiss-covered canvasses, and knife installations. As with other artistic mediums and cultural developments, the vocabulary of tattoo flash continually evolves, and the definition and boundaries of body marking in recent years has emerged to the forefront of popular culture as well as the art world.