Continuing its rich tradition of ensuring that art is an integral part of the Cape Tattoo Expo (or Southern Ink Xposure or Cape Town International Tattoo Convention), this year’s focus will be on the nautical roots of tattoo art.
This Tuesday, you can join in the festivities by attending ‘Homeward Bound’, a multi-media exhibition comprised of a series of works by celebrated local and international photographers, illustrators, graphic designers, and tattooists.
Opening in conjunction with ‘Homeward Bound’ is the ‘Message in a Bottle’ exhibition. This unique show features custom-designed wine labels from top local and international tattoo artists. Incorporating the maritime theme, artists have drawn on the rich, sometimes macabre, often humorous tradition of sailor superstitions to inspire their works.
On top of the two already unique exhibitions is the ‘Levi’s Trucker Jacket’ exhibition. Each one of these one-of-a-kind garments have been re-created by top South African and international tattoo artists and will be showcased in the window of Levi’s flagship shop at the V&A Waterfront prior to the exhibition and will be auctioned off at the event, with proceeds from sales being donated to the ‘Dare to Share’ foundation.
You can this can be viewed on Tuesday night, 22 January starting at 19h00 until 21h00 at the Cape Town City Hall’s 2nd Floor Exhibition Hall.
Following the art exhibition, there will be a screening of the still-to-be released documentary ‘TATTOO NATION‘ in the Cape Town City Hall Auditorium. The screen is an invite only affair, but we have can help if you’re keen to attend the viewing. Email us your name and contact email and contact telephone number to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line ‘Tattoo Nation‘ and we will pass along your details, ensuring you get that limited invite. Numbers are limited though, so do so as soon as possible.
TATTOO NATION is the yet-to-be released film that has had tattoo aficionados all over the world panting in anticipation of its screening. This definitive documentary chronicles the revolution that Chicano tattoo art, born in the prisons and the ghettos of Hispanic Southern California, brought to the world of modern tattooing.
Tattoos used to be a sign of rebellion. A middle-finger salute to the rest of the world. Outlaw bikers got tattoos. Sailors on leave in Singapore got tattoos. ‘Lifers’ in the joint got tattoos.
Now, your mother’s got a butterfly on her ankle and your kid’s sporting a tramp stamp. What happened? How did tattoos go from the renegade, readymade, carney cartoons inked as fast as
possible to the art form they’ve become today?
That transformation is the subject of the new documentary film, TATTOO NATION.
TATTOO NATION tells how a few incarcerated but very talented Chicano artists changed the world of ink forever. It follows three tattoo pioneers, Charlie Cartwright, Jack Rudy and Freddy Negrete, and shows how a new, fine line style using detail and shading to achieve a remarkable realism revolutionized the world of ink.
We are especially proud to announce that the film’s director, Eric Schwartz, will be on hand for the screening. Originally a stills photography artist whose works has been shown in galleries and museums around the United States, it was in 2006 that he began a photographic project with the working title The Tattooed. This project started with large-scale portraits and later involved interviews that explain how people, especially the Chicano community, express themselves through tattoo.
It was his interest in different peoples’ motivations, the power of imagery and his lifelong interest in art that led to the making of this film, TATTOO NATION, as his directorial debut.
Eric will also be showing his work at the Homeward Bound exhibition.