Tomorrow Dave ABANDONS his wife and small child to attend the opening of Nexus, a show presented by Abend Gallery in Denver, CO. He has been diligently working away at co-curating this show for the past number of months. Getting a bunch of artists to collaborate on a show is like herding cats, and getting a bunch of tattoo artists to collaborate on a show is like herding a bunch of insolent, authority-challenging cats. Which is actually all cats, come to think of it.
Yes, Nexus combines paintings from artist and tattoo artists. As you all know if you've been reading long enough, Dave tattoos part-time to pay the bills and maintain his street cred in the face of his background as a kindergarten teacher (it's really hard to undo that sort of history). He came up with the idea to put together a show featuring paintings by tattoo artists and paintings by artists exploring or inspired by tattoo culture.
|Renowned tattoo artist Joshua Carlton gave us our apprenticeships. The hydro company has him to thank for our prompt bill payments each month.|
For the five minutes that I tattooed, my eyes were opened and my innocence dashed. I had always naively believed that painting was a self-evidently superior visual art form--nay, the ultimate visual art form!--and that the entire world was with me on that point. But now I really believe that tattoo art is the dominant visual art form of our generation. It's the one that is the most accessible, the most meaningful, and the most personal. It's also a very competitive industry that attracts the best and most talented by rewarding artists with money and fame commensurate to merit. Which is rather unlike some industries I know.
Which is to say, I hope these tattoo artists don't lord their superior cultural relevance over the rest of us painters at the show. Sob.
Nexus has received some excellent coverage, although it will probably be another month before the gypsy caravan containing the above issue of American Art Collector Magazine makes its way to Vancouver Island. The above image is pilfered from the Book of Face. You can read more about the show here and you can view the catalogue here. I wish I felt up to inflicting a crying baby on a plane full of strangers so that I could attend too.
|James What's His Face Caffyn|