The Art of Contemporary Tattooing


February 2-17

Opening Reception, Friday, February 2

The Tulsa Artists’ Coalition will present “The Art of Contemporary Tattooing” opening Friday, February 2. The show will consist of the work of three Tulsa tattoo artists: Dustin Charles, Stevi Beets and Codak Smith all of Pen & Ink Tattoo Studio. Codak is a recent transplant from Los Angeles and an artist with Tulsa Artist Fellowship program funded by the George Kaiser Foundation.

Marking the human body is a centuries old tradition. Mummified remains found in various regions of the globe have been found with markings representing family, status, and various cultural traditions. In the modern context Sailors traveling the world in the late 19th & early 20th century found themselves inspired by body art traditions found primarily in the Polynesian and Micronesian archipelagoes. In turn these sailors would bring home their own form of tattoo art, The American traditional.

Over the last several decades this has expanded from the American traditional style, Japanese traditional styles, neo-traditional style, Black & gray Cholo style and now into what can be considered the “Contemporary” style. Pioneered primarily in Europe the aesthetic involves a heavy use of abstract line work, sacred geometry, plate etching, as well as elements of graphic design, architecture and many other influences. Locally these three tattoo artists push this envelope in the local tattoo scene.

As the art of tattooing continues to move more and more in to popular culture the TAC gallery hopes to help promote the development of this art form and its connection to its tradition and future. The show will consist of photographic documentation of works completed, original illustrations & paintings created by each of the artists, as well as a few of the artist clients on hand to model they’re work.

Curator RC Morrison said, “Many fine art venues around the US have begun to present tattoos as an art form worthy of consideration in a gallery setting. TAC has taken the opportunity to present contemporary tattooing in that way.” The show will be open Thursday, Friday and Saturdays until Saturday, February 17. Or by appointment: 918-693-8569