New Museum Makes Push to Classify Tattoos as Art

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Photo: Amanda Wachob via Instagram
Photo: Amanda Wachob via Instagram
Photo: Amanda Wachob via Instagram
Photo: Amanda Wachob via Instagram
Photo: Amanda Wachob via Instagram
Photo: Amanda Wachob via Instagram
Photo: Amanda Wachob via Instagram

Artist and Tattooist Amanda Wachob’s new project Skin Data at New York’s New Museum breaks the mold of your average tattoo parlor, combining performance, fine art, and body art.

For the project, Wachob will  tattoo 12 successful applicants inside the New Museum. Chosen on a first-come-first-serve basis (you can reserve a place by contacting [email protected]), the eventual tattooees can select a design from a list of 23 pre-prepared works in the artists’ signature colorful watercolor style. The project is scheduled to take place between December 20 and January 17.

A collaboration with neuroscientist Maxwell Bertolero will transform the voltage and time data from Wachob’s tattoo equipment into visual images. A description on the projects’ website explains: “Although technology plays a significant role in the making of a tattoo, it is often hidden or overlooked. Skin Data ventures into this invisible realm in order to give expression to tattoo technology’s attendant processes and information.”

Prints resulting from the collaboration will be available for purchase from the New Museum store, limited to an edition of 20. The visual representation of tattoos in the from of a print challenges the perceptions of contemporary art as well as body art and explores how technology can be utilized to blur the lines between performance, tattoo, and fine art.


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