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COMING SOON | Tattooed


A new exhibition celebrating tattoo art opens next week in Byron, featuring a surprisingly beautiful collection of artworks showcasing ink on the skin.

Multi-award winning local photographer Alberto Sanchez is making the final additions to a new series of works, showcasing the work of local custom tattoo artist Camilla (Millie) Zavattaro, owner of Rock of Ages Tattoos Parlour in Lennox Head.

The limited edition prints are layered photographs, in which his original portraits of local women have been marked and manipulated to create a series of unique hand worked montages, exploring the nature of body-art, beauty and tribalism.

Recently announced as the Australian Institute of Professional Photographers’ Portrait Photographer of the Year, Runner Up for Queensland, Spanish born Alberto says that in 2010 he has been enjoying extending his artistic practice in new directions.

Earlier this year he experimented with a series of images depicting iconic Byron Bay scenes, which he layered with words and textures to create original limited edition artworks, and he has been excited to witness these works hit a chord with local and visiting arts audiences. With the Tattooed show coming up, Alberto says he has been inspired to begin a new series, showcasing women and their body art against subtly decorated backgrounds, merging the idea of art on the skin and art on the wall.
He says he has always being amused by the contrary reaction tattoos have in the viewer, which he describes as often being disapproval and admiration in equal amounts, and hopes that by incorporating the tattoo into fine art photography, he can dispel some of the dispersions associated with body art forms.

The Tattooed show is being held in conjunction with Retrospect Galleries’ annual urban art show - an international showcase of cutting edge works by young artists, from around the world, now in its third year.

Retrospect’s Bree Delian says the Gallery is trying to broaden the show this year in recognition of the burgeoning tattoo culture.

“Although tattoos have been around for thousands of years, we are experiencing an explosion in the number of tattoo parlours, and also seeing the rise of custom tattoo artists like Millie Zavattaro, who are attracting attention to body art, as a significant art form,” Delian comments.

“Tattoos today are a far cry from the old sailor images, and there has also been a shift away from appropriating Indigenous designs from different cultures.”

“Now a new form is emerging, spearheaded by the artist/tattooist, whose work on the human canvas is created with artistic integrity by individuals working with their own individual forms of markings.”

“The interest in evident when you consider that regular clients may have to wait months for a booking at Rock of Ages, to be marked with one of Millie’s unique custom motifs.”

Also featured in the show are stunning works by Spanish artist Vilchez contrasting Latino Maras gang culture with that of Japanese Yakuza warriors, depicted as tattoos on the gangsters bodies.

The prints are created through a classic printing technique, mixing woodcut or linocut relief, with dry crystal etching for the tattoo, allowing the artist to have two different finishes in the same print.  Tattooed and Revolution of Art open 6pm Friday July 16 at Retrospect Galleries, 52 Jonson Street, with a live tattoo demo by Millie Zavattaro.  All welcome!

You can also check out the show online click here...

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