Tattooed Man by Billy Morrow Jackson
This painting by Billy Morrow Jackson, entitled Tattooed Man, was sent to me by my friend Matt Lodder who loves to search through the Smithsonian image archives (Matt's an academic who focuses on body modification, and my fave geek freak).
What gave me goosebumps here is the tattoo portraits of the "Birmingham Four" -- the four girls killed in 1963 by a bomb detonated at the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham while attending Sunday school. The church was also used as a meeting place for civil rights leaders. The bomb was placed by Klu Klux Klan member Robert Chambliss who was originally found not guilty of murder and only received a fine and a six-month jail time for possessing dynamite. In 1977, he was tried again with new FBI evidence and sentenced to life in prison (where he died in 1985).
Jackson's painting is a wonderful example of the use of tattoos in fine art to bring home a powerful message.