Worthy of Art (Position)

Tattoos are becoming more and more common. If you were in a movie theater, 64 of the 200 people in attendance would have at least one tattoo (Server 1). It could be anything from a purple elephant or a gory-headless swallow, to the Star War’s characters covering a whole person’s back. Any ordinary person would have just glanced at something like that and thought, “those are the most ridiculous ideas for tattoos and could not consider it as art or could it?”

Art is something that is aesthetically appealing whether it be visually or with your ears. Music is art and not everyone will agree on what sounds good to them. There are many forms of visual art: abstract, function, process, representational, and naturalistic. Not everyone will agree that they are even art or even know what some of those art forms are. However, there is an understanding that to the person who creates them it took time to think of and create it. Tattoos are similar, you may not understand them or like them but to the person that carries them they may have a deep meaning and it is art that they want to express and show to others.

Progression in the tattoo industry has helped in showing the detail that was once not possible. Being able to create fine lines, vibrant colors, and many levels of shading. Its development can be compared to painting. Cave drawings were very basic and just had stick-figures depicting daily life. Now they can look so realistic and dimensional it is breath-taking. Before mechanical-machines, tattoos were cavemen-like; small with just lines and no real ability to expand on the art form. A tattoo can now look just like the picture taken, colorfully surprising. Realistic art is just that, art that looks like the seen subject, realistic portrait tattoo art.

Art does not have a certain form or a particular style.  It just has to be enough to tell something about the person. Dave Navarro said, “My skin is my canvas. The artwork on it represents something that is very powerful . . . of a living dairy . . . and I never wish to shut the door on the past, so I carry it all with me.” (Navarro 1). How strong would it be to have a dairy that not only you can remember but one that you can also show and explain to people about. It’s the emotion that tattoos carry that gives many of us who wear them its appeal. Emotion is the force that drives something to become an art. It lets us drive and be able to explain almost anything as an art form.

However do you want that place marker in your life to prevent you from something you may want later on in life? Let’s say you want to one day become a head of a corporation, or a doctor. We want to say that people will look past it and base the position on the quality and character the person, but that is not true. We judge a lot on the “cover of the book” and how that is a statement; you are defiant to the social norms and they may have a point. If you do something different and risk-it to stand out you are willing to expand you thought. In much art, stepping out of the norm inspires others to do the same and get out of their comfort zone. Being bold and trying something new is a character that sounds fitting to many white-collar positions.

To conclude that, I’m not saying that all tattoos are art. Many of us have seen the opposite: a shaky-lined miss-colored portrayal of a Kermit and Miss Piggy or a pink flamingo wearing a sombrero. On the other hand there are extremely-intricate almost-delicate drawings of a loved one lost forever remember or a representation of one’s culture drawn into a small framework, telling a story through the position and subtle context. The time and the process it takes for it to get completed, especially when we realize that it is going to be on their F-O-R-E-V-E-R is worth others judgment. I consider those as Art we wear and hope that others will also.


Krakow, Amy. The total tattoo book . New York, NY: Warner Books, 1994. 224. Print

Miller, Jean Chris. Body piercing and tattoos . New York, NY: Berkly Books, 1997. 181. Print.

Navarro, Dave. Famous Tattoo Quotes.  http://www.vanishingtattoo.com/tattoos_quotes.htm. Vanishing Tattoos 28 April  2011.

Levins, Hoga. The Changing Cultural Status of the Tattoo Arts in America. http://www.tattooartist.com/history.html. Levins Hoga. 25 April 2011

Loyld, J.D. Body piercing and tattoos . San Diego, CA: Greenhaven Press, 2003. 142 p. Print.

Sever, Joy Marie. “A Third of Americans With Tattoos Say They Make Them Feel More Sexy.” Harrison Poll 58 08 oct 2003. 1. Harrison Interactive . Web. 15 feb 2011. http://www.harrisinteractive.com/vault/Harris-Interactive-Poll-Research-A-Third-of-Americans-With-Tattoos-Say-They-Make-Them-Feel-More-Sexy-2003-10.pdf.

Tattoo Museum. http://www.vanishingtattoo.com/tattoo_museum/history.html. VanishingTattoos.com. 01 may 2011.

  1. You should add in more concessions. You said something about tattoo removals, but what about them? Does getting your tattoo removed mean that that tattoo was never art to begin with? Give more sides to this, like why people don’t think that this is a form of art.

  2. Nicely done. Well there is a lot on the page mainly a comaprison of art types and at the end a focus on tattoos. as of now there are some gramatical errors and missing words that i found. also it was very monotone, not that i read it monotone but it had that feel. try to spice it up. make the art come out of your word and that will allow others to understand what you want to portray.
    at the end it sounded like you weren’t sure of what you thought about art. use stronger words other than consider and hope. bold statements will leave a stronger impression on the reader.
    looking good so far. a few fixes and you will definitly feel some power in your words.

  3. I am like that “art” that you have used as your pictures. Looking good.

    My only thought on it, is that now that you have convinced your reader/audience that tattoos can be art, what’s next. Do you have a call to action for the public? Instead of a “I hope you will too…” conclusion. Maybe a stronger statment of “… the next time you see a tattoo think of the art that went into it.” I don’t know that line was totally cheesey, but something that gives your conclustion some strong statement would be great.

  4. I like the idea of tattoos being considered art. Is there any tattoo art in an art museum? Are there any artists that have recived any artistic awards? (Do they offer any aartistic awards in the tatttoo community) I like that you covered the fact that just beacuse you may not like it or understand it does not mean that it is not art.

  5. Fantastic. I really love how you’ve put this together. I think it reads really well, especially with how smoothly you acknowledge various sides of the argument and tactfully present new ideas, like about how “Being bold and trying something new is a character that sounds fitting to many white-collar positions.” Great job! And the history about how far tattooing has come, with thinner lines, etc, is great as evidence of the progression of the art form.

    The part where I think it needs a little more work is in paragraphs 4–6. It feels like you went off on a tangent a bit there and almost got back into giving people instructions on what to watch out for when getting a tattoo. Remember to stay focused on your claim that tattoos can be art. Maybe even qualify that claim at the beginning by saying not EVERY tattoo is art (like you do in your conclusion) and then you could make claims about what kinds of tattoos are art. Get more expert quotes to back you up, too, and definitely photos of some artful tattoos. Give us even more reasons why they should be considered art. And maybe let Julie use the part about being bold appealing to white collar jobs, since it might fit better in her position. For yours, talk about how being bold is part of art, that art is about self-expression, etc. Give more analogies to other art forms, too, like maybe discuss Jackson Pollock or other famous artists whose work became famous because it was so different from the norm.

    Anyhow, that was just to give you some more ideas. Again, I think what you’ve got is great! I’d just beef it up a little with additional evidence (quotes, stories, analogies) and make sure you keep focused on tattoos as art. 🙂

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