Tattoos have come such a long way in recent years. We all know that they are far more mainstream now, but are they becoming more respected, too? Tattoos don’t usually have the same impact on job prospects and other issues as before, they really are just seen as the norm, but there is a big difference between a beautiful piece of body art and a low-quality tattoo.
If you look for tattoo shops then the chances are your nearest town and city will have somewhere that you can get a beautiful tattoo, but will this be seen as fine art in the future?
Can Tattoos Be Considered Fine Art?
Michael Kimmelman, a critic for the NY Times, said back in 1995 that tattoos were some of the most interesting works of art out there due to “outsider status”. Many tattoos stem from prisons or from tribes that have given them this outsider feel, and that’s why some traditionalists have discounted tattoos as fine art. Now, finding tattoos near me, or anyone else, is a super easy thing to do, they have no longer been relegated to a counter culture idea, so perhaps they should now be considered as fine art.
There is no denying the skill involved. Plus, if you are judging art based on its history, then you can rest assured that tattoos have been around for thousands of years, since the days of bamboo tattooing. There is no real reason why they shouldn’t be considered as fine art.
The History Of Tattoos
When we said that tattoos have been around for thousands of years, we weren’t kidding. Using carbon dating, we can see that the first tattooing tool was around in 1450 BC in North Egypt. The tool is over 3,000 years old! This goes to show that body art is virtually as old as human civilization.
In 1876, Thomas Edison may have inadvertently created the tattoo gun. He made an electric pen for printing autographs and this was quickly adjusted by Samuel O’Reilly, who added a needle and created the tattoo gun. It’s basically a version of this that tattoo artists use to this day.
In 1958, tattoo removal was invented, and it has continued to improve to this day. This means that people are often less concerned about the idea of getting a tattoo in the first place.
Why Have Tattoos Been So Popular In Recent Years?
There are a lot of reasons for tattoos being incredibly popular in recent years. There’s no denying the growth over the last decade or two. So, why do people tend to get tattoos now? One reason is the changing attitude towards them in workplaces. It might have impacted your job prospects in recent years, and though different companies have different policies on visible tattoos, there are far more relaxed attitudes in the modern age.
Inked magazine has carried out numerous studies on tattoos and their popularity, as well as the motivation behind getting them. Tattoos are about your independence and making a statement with your body, but they are also about creativity, just like any other form of art. Using your own body as the canvas is perhaps the ultimate method of expression, it’s also a real sign of trust in the tattoo artist.
British Tattoo Art Revealed At The National Maritime Museum In Falmouth.
Over 400 pieces of artwork relating to tattoos have been displayed at the National Maritime Museum in the UK. The UK is one of the countries where tattoos have become incredibly popular, and this show is all about challenging people’s conceptions, showing that tattoos are not just some sort of sign of rebellion, they can be incredibly beautiful and deserve recognition as the works of art they are.
For such a mainstream and highly-respected museum to have embraced tattoo art, it shows the change in attitudes. Tattoo artists are becoming known as artists in their own right. Whatever medium people choose to use, whether it is the canvas, sculpture or even human skin, there should be no real boundaries in fine art, and we expect this attitude to continue in the future as tattoos become the norm.
Jacob Pullman is an enthusiastic and creative writer at Skin Design Tattoo. As a part of the studio, his goal is to spread knowledge about tattoo art.