From exhaustive electroscopic comparison analysis at our very own International Institute for Tattoo Art Research, a division of Lift Trucks Project, our studies have led us to the following determination. The large tattoo flash board from Dusty Rhodes studio is most certainly the handwork of Joseph Hartley.
One element of our research over the course of a couple of hours and in between other stuff, was to focus upon the written words. Lettering is, in itself, as telling and unique as a signature. No two people will pen a letter exactly the same way.
Selection from a book documenting Joseph Hartley work, by the esteemed expert, Mr. Hanky Panky.
A close up of the sheet found in Dusty Rhodes shop.
As we compare the individual letters in the word “NAME”, note the outward curve on the right stroke of the “A” and the distinctive convex and concave lines on the “N”. The way the center angle of the “M” does not descend as far as the other parts of the letter. Our research shows that in Hartley’s lettering most of the forms have the tops dramatically curving as if they’re leaning back and windswept.
Hanky Panky’s book (Left) Dusty’s sheet (Right)
Joseph Hartley sheet kindly sent by a Lift Trucks contributor. (Above.)
Board from Dusty’s studio
We encourage our readers to look for these points of similarity. Snakes with distinct red/white underbelly’s and black and green backs. Unique little dots around hearts. The women have stylized bright eyes, arched eyebrows, rosebud lips and heavy jaw lines… The final tells being the ladies tiny size 2 shoes and the fact that Hartely was well known to have supplied the Rhodes brothers in the 1930’s with supplies from his Tattoo business in Bristol, England.
Just as sure as a clean fingerprint on a newly cracked safe, we believe this conclusively connects the art to the artist.
We also think this sheet is his ultimate masterpiece.
This of course, has nothing to do with the fact that we own the item.