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Electric Ink At Ricco Maresca Gallery

by JAMIE MARTINEZ on 09/25/2014 ·

Our final stop for the evening was Body Electric curated by Margot Mifflin at Ricco Maresca Gallery. This show is all about vintage tattoo flash and original art by the most influential and innovative tattoo artists today (according to their website). The gallery was jam-packed and the crowd was edgy with intense energy. We liked this show so much that we stayed here the rest of the night and enjoyed the art on the walls. Bonus art were on people’s bodies as they showed off their tattoos. The work exhibited was mostly on paper and it was presented salon style to give it a tattoo shop display vibe but the only thing missing were the chairs and the ink gun. I must admit, after the show I was craving for new ink.

Body Electric at Ricco Maresca gallery

The show runs from Sept 18 – October 24, 2014 529 west 20th Street 3rd FL. 

Writing by Jamie Martinez 

Photography by Max Noy

Lift Trucks Collection Featured

Skin Trade: The ‘Body Electric’ Showcases Tattoo Art

So, what is the "Tattoo Window of Regret?"

By Christopher Murray | 10/07/14 5:45pm

Installation image for “Body Electric”. (Courtesy Ricco/Maresca Gallery)

Getting your current squeeze’s name needled into your butt when you’ve had a few too margaritas has become a rite of passage for a whole new generation, but it’s also become a well-recognized, even revered, art form, as the variety and quality of the work currently on view at the Ricco/Maresca Gallery in Chelsea shows.

Which makes curator and noted tattoo historian Margot Mifflin’s recent decision all the more shocking:  “I talked my 18-year-old daughter out of getting a tattoo this summer,” says Ms. Mifflin, guest curator of the cool and compelling “Body Electric” tattoo art show on West 20th Street in Chelsea through October 25th.

“Of course it’s her choice, but 18-21 is the biggest window for regret for women,” notes Ms Mifflin, “so I encouraged her to wait.”

The show, described as “the next best thing to showcasing

the living canvases that bear their designs,” features vintage

tattoo designs from the last hundred years as well as original

art from contemporary tattooists across the globe, Lucerne to

Los Angeles.“I’ve written about tattoos, among other things,

since the late 1990s, when my feminist history of tattoo art,

Bodies of Subversion: A Secret History of Women and Tattoo,

was published,” says Ms. Mifflin.


Thanks in part to the don of contemporary tattooing, Don Ed Hardy,

and a gazillion knockoff hats, t-shirts, sneakers and purses featuring

his designs, “It’s not even a subculture anymore,” explains Ms.

Mifflin. “It stretches across class and demographic lines now.


 Image Courtesy of Lift Trucks Project        ------


“I tried to show a range of sensibilities through the artists in the show,” she says, “from Jef Palumbo, who does a kind of Photoshop collage style that’s often imitated, to Jacqueline Spoerle in Switzerland, who does intricate, delicate silhouettes of folk scenes, to Chuey Quintanar in L.A., who does Chicano-style fine line tattoos.” Most of these artists’ tattoo work is custom-designed, not a template, she notes.

Why now? In the exhibition’s essay, Ms. Mifflin argues compellingly that “the new auteurs have freed tattooing from the subcultural parameters that both sustained and restricted it for over a century.”





But does she herself have one?


“I’m not tattooed. I’ve always written about tattooing as a

critic/reporter, not an advocate or an insider. If I were to get

tattooed, which is a perennial possibility, I would go straight

to Roxx of Two Spirit Tattoo in San Francisco. I like black and

gray abstract, which is fairly timeless — and she’s a master. “

BODY ELECTRIC: AN ARTISTIC HISTORY OF TATTOOS

10/01/14 / Photography by Michael Korol / Author: Natasha Van Duser

How often do you pass someone on the street with tattoos and stop to think Wow, tattoos have come a long way in the last 100 years? Well, if you don’t, now is the time to start.

Margot Mifflin, author of Bodies of Subversion: A Secret History of Women and Tattoo and curator of the first ever tattoo art exhibition at the Ricco Maresca Gallery, Body Electric, is quite aware of the long, enduring history of tattoos.  With this latest project, it was her goal to really showcase the true artistic nature and evolution of the tattoo world as we know it.  Body Electric is designed to display the progression of tattoos in today’s world starting with the late 19th century styles of copying flash to the 21st century custom works of art that clients receive from some of the top tattooists in the industry


Art by Amanda Wachob

Though the exhibition is not focused on displaying tattoos, it works instead to lay out the artistic skills routed in ink as a whole.  Whether it is the development of ‘90s tribal pieces or the tracing of the incredible influences people like Norman Keith Collins, aka the iconic Sailor Jerry, had on the industry, these trailblazing visuals take viewers through decades from flash to stencils, the intricate designs created for tattooists’ clients of today. Work from artists such as black and grey specialist Chuey Quintanar and out of the box color worker Amanda Wachob have given the tattoo industry the opportunity to see the true artistic nature that can be achieved in the art of ink within skin.


Art by Virginia Elwood

No longer is it common to see someone go into a tattoo shop and walk out with an inked image they picked off of a wall.  Today, people go in for unique, commissioned pieces created solely for the individual. Thus making tattoos look more museum worthy than ever and proving that tattoos as true works of art really have come a long way in the last century.

Make sure to stop by and check out Mifflin’s Body Electric at the Ricco Maresca Gallery in New York City before it’s close on October 25th and check out the gallery below for a preview of the exhibition.