The Arkansas Arts Center kicks off the 2012-2013 exhibition season with Tattoo Witness: Photographs by Mark Perrott on Friday, June 22. A reception for AAC members will take place tonight. The exhibit is organized and toured by the Westmoreland Museum of American Art in Greensburg, PA.
Perrott’s photographs, which document 25 years of tattoo culture, highlight the artistry of the tattoos as well as the individuals who have stories to tell. Tattoos are one of the oldest subjects in art, dating back over 5000 years.
The exhibit features 25 large-scale black and white photos of men and women and their tattoos.
It grew out of a project which Perrott began in 1979 when he started hanging out at a tattoo parlor in Pittsburgh. That led him to continue to explore the artform in a widening area. Between 1995 and 2003 his continued curiosity compelled him to visit ten American mid-career tattoo masters at their studios, scattered across the country.
Mark Perrott has worked as a professional photographer for the past 40 years. In addition to his commercial work, which includes portraiture and photography for annual reports, Perrott has taken photographs that document Pittsburgh’s citizens and its rich industrial landscape. His photographs are included in the permanent collections of a number of museums, including Carnegie Museum of Art, Brooklyn Museum, Westmoreland Museum of American Art, Baltimore Museum of Art and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
The exhibition will showcase a collection of murals painted by local tattoo artists including Robert Berry from 7th Street Tattoo in Little Rock, Richard Moore from Backroads Tattoo in Russellville, Caleb Pritchett from Electric Heart Tattoo in Little Rock, Chris Thomas from Golden Lotus Tattoo Studio in Sherwood, Brooke and Ryan Cook from Lucky Bella in North Little Rock, Nancy Miller from Main Street Tattoo in Jacksonville and Scott Diffee from The Parlor in North Little Rock.
A section in the exhibition called Arkansas Tattoo Witness Corner will feature a selection of videos created by local individuals telling the stories behind their tattoos. To be included in the Arkansas Tattoo Witness Corner section of the exhibition, people can submit videos telling their tattoo story. Videos should be three minutes or less in length. People can upload their videos through the Arkansas Arts Center web site at http://www.arkarts.com. Videos will be accepted throughout the run of the exhibition.
The lecture TATTOOED: The Sociogenesis of a Body Art by Michael Atkinson, Ph.D. will be held Thursday, June 21, 2012. A reception will be held at 5:30 p.m., and the lecture will begin at 6 p.m. Dr. Michael Atkinson, sociologist and tattoo enthusiast, authored the book Tattooed: The Sociogenesis of Body Art. In this lecture, Dr. Atkinson will discuss the change in tattoo culture in North America in the past decade including the role of women and other influences. Admission to the lecture is $5. Arkansas Arts Center Members attend free.
The Arkansas Arts Center will offer free public tours of Tattoo Witness: Photographs by Mark Perrott by docents on Saturdays at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. and Sundays at 1 and 2:30 p.m.
Live demonstrations will reveal the art and technique of tattooing by local tattoo parlors from 2 to 4 p.m. on the following dates (visitors cannot receive tattoos at the Arts Center):
June 24: Golden Lotus Tattoo Studio, Sherwood
July 15: Lucky Bella, North Little Rock
August 5: 7th Street Tattoo, Little Rock
August 26 : Electric Heart Tattoo, Little Rock