Painter, tattoo artist, and overall mensch Shawn Barber will be showing new paintings in his wonderful tattoo series at the Joshua Liner Gallery in Manhattan from April 24th to May 22nd.
Entitled Tattooed Portraits: Chronicle, the exhibit is Shawn's first solo show in NYC and comprises twenty paintings and eight works on paper.
I'm particularly excited about this exhibit because, well, I'm in it! [I'm particularly restraining myself from adding more exclamation marks.] In December, Shawn and Kim Saigh came over to our Brooklyn hood and photographed me in my naked tattooed glory for a portrait evoking the Hindu goddess Durga. Kim, a yogini, inspired the idea of representing Durga's ten arms with symbolic hand gestures (and wild curly hair) framing my backpiece. [See below] I loved the idea because Durga's a warrior badass with a sense of humor -- something I aspire to should I ever leave my computer. But enough about me ...
For more on the show and Shawn, check recent interviews in ChinaShop Mag and Arrested Motion. The Q&A in Arrested Motion is a great read covering everything from Shawn's first tattoo to his new studio with Kim, Memoir Tattoo, to the tattoo portraits series. Here's a taste:
AM : Since 2005, you've been documenting and painting the
portraits and tattoos of many of today's best artists including Mike
Giant, Jeremy Fish, Natalia Fabia, Sylvia Ji and Scott Campbell to name a
few... who's next on the list?
SB: I've painted several fine artists but my interest is going much
more in the direction of focusing on contemporary tattoo history and the
artists living and working today making tattoos. It's been the natural
progression of things, and now, as a tattooist, my passion lies in the
life of the community. It's a world that if you're not in it - you don't
have a fucking clue. And you will never know. It is the most amazing
artist community in the world, with it's own sets of rules, unspoken
hierarchy with a ton of respect for the past. It's a family of
transients that connect with humanity on a daily basis and are
permanently tied to everyone they work on. Humbling and intimidating,
tattooing is truly awesome.
AM: You've got an upcoming show at Joshua Liner...an extension of your Tattooed Portraits series. Your "Tattooed
Portraits: Snapshots" show at the Shooting Gallery last year featured amongst it's subjects Scott Sylvia, Margaret Cho and Jo
Harrison, who can we expect to see painted at your upcoming show in NYC?
SB: Oh man, this show is the best one yet! I'm working on life size
nude of the artist Thomas Woodruff inside one of his paintings; a
diptych of the twin tattooists, James and Tim Kern; a couple of interior
scenes and still life paintings that are the most elaborate pieces for
me yet, an homage to Velaquez' Juan de Pareja with Damon Conklin;
portraits of my girlfriend, Bob Tyrrell, Michelle Myles, and Camila
Rocha; a large scale painting of Marisa Kakoulas; torso studies of Turf
One, Chris Garver Anna Sheffield and Bryan Bancroft; and a slew of
watercolors that I'm challenging myself with.
My favorite painting has to be the James and Tim Kern piece, also a fave of ChinaShop Mag and highlighted in their article. ChinaShop also previews other works and offers a look into Shawn & Kim's Memoir Tattoo in LA. [For a closer look, check the Fecal Face videos.]
The opening reception for Tattooed
Portraits: Chronicle takes place April 24th from 6-9PM. [Here's a map for the gallery] Planning for an after-party is in the works. Can't wait!