It doesn’t seem like four years ago, but come May of this year, a full four years will have passed since the Tattoo Project: body. art. image. event took place in Vancouver. The Tattoo Project sequestered 11 fine art photographers with a wide variety of personal styles in the VPW (Vancouver Photo Workshop) studios along with over 100 heavily tattooed individuals for a hectic and action-packed three day long-weekend.
Thousands of portraits were produced that aimed to explore the identity of each of these subjects through the portrayal of their body art and the photographic process. Two documentary film crews prowled the crowded hallways, eves-dropped on photographers as they shot in the studios, and interviewed dozens of models and all of the photographers. Never before had an event like this been organized, let alone filmed, as photographers created fine art out of tattoo art on a human canvas. The weekend was an extraordinary experience that is still talked about with great affection by many of the participants.
Read Skin & Ink Editor, Bob Baxter’s gripping account.
In November of 2010, a Gallery Exhibition was held at Performance Works on Granville Island and more than 750 people attended the opening night. The innovative and brilliant curation by Pennylane Shen showcased almost two hundred images and special guests included tattoo legend, Lyle Tuttle, famed tattoo photographer Bill deMichele, and Skin & Ink Editor Bob Baxter, among others. Hundreds of copies of the Tattoo Project calendar were sold and all of the proceeds were donated to the Ray Cam Centre in the Downtown Eastside.
Read Skin & Ink Editor, Bob Baxter’s Gallery Exhibition Review.
In August of 2012, Schiffer Books published the Tattoo Project: body. art. image. book and it has been a critical and commercial success. The volume features more than 200 images and truly reflects not only who the subjects are, but the photographers as well. From differing approaches to lighting, mood, and colour to different methods for engaging the subjects, each of the artists clearly has a unique vision and personal style. The book has become a must have for both tattoo collectors and photography enthusiasts.
And what does the Tattoo Project have in store next? This Summer we’re going to be asking the tattoo and photography communities help us in finishing the post production on what we think is an amazing and important documentary film through a Kickstarter.com crowd funding campaign. So stay tuned as we will reveal and roll out what we think are a really extraordinary list of rewards for our supporters.
And just to give you a taste, here’s a quick trailer from our talented Editor, Alec McNeil: