Scott Campbell's Whole Glory Exhibit & Performance
08:01 AM
Whole Glory Scott Campbell.pngScott Campbell tattoo.pngScott Campbell tattoo above on Sophia Amoruso.

Tattooer and fine artist Scott Campbell is co-owner of one of the most respected tattoo studios in NYC, Saved Tattoo; however, his popularity extends far beyond the tattoo community, particularly, for his A-List clientele. You can also see him on TV dancing with his actress/filmaker wife Lake Bell for an Apple Watch ad, and he was the best man at Justin Theroux and Jennifer Aniston's wedding.

It's the pop culture celebrity pedigree that often precedes discussion of Scott's artwork, as is the case in this NY Times piece on his latest work, Whole Glory, an exhibition and performance at Milk Gallery. The exhibition opens today and runs through Sunday, from 10 am-6pm. The closing reception on Sunday is from 6-8pm.

As Scott wrote on his Instagram, "At the center of the installation will be a hole. On the other side of that hole will be me. I will tattoo (for free) any arm that comes through. There is no communication. I tattoo whatever I am inspired to do, and recipient doesn't get to see until it's finished."

The Times interviews Scott on this performance aspect of Whole Glory. Here's some of that talk:

How will you decide what you'll give to each person?

I almost feel like there's a bit of a palm-reading aspect to it. I don't really know the person, but I'm physically touching them, reacting to them subliminally. I have a bunch of designs sketched out. Some of them I'll pull from books of mine, other ones I'll make up on the spot. The freedom is the most exciting thing to me, so I'm trying not to plan it out too much. I'm doing this large painting that has a bunch of drawings and sketches and things on it, so you'll get a sense of the world that it's coming from, but no, it could be anything.

Do you feel a big burden of responsibility giving someone a surprise tattoo?

Of course. I'm probably as nervous, maybe more nervous, than they will be, because I never want to do a tattoo that someone regrets getting. But I think there is a bit of magic there in the exchange, the drawing-a-card-out-of-the-deck dynamic. Some people are asking, "How conservative are you going to be?" If I put a rose on every girl's arm and a skull on every guy's arm, it's not going to be an interesting project. It's not a real leap of faith. To do this performance justice, I'm kind of obligated to take liberties and push boundaries. The risk is what makes it interesting.

Read more here.  To RSVP for the reception on Sunday, email

Scott Campbell tattooing Marc Jacobs.png

Scott Campbell tattooing Marc Jacobs.

connect with us

Marisa Kakoulas
Miguel Collins
Craig Dershowitz
Brian Grosz
Sean Risley
Patrick Sullivan
Needles and Sins powered by Moveable Type.

Site designed and programmed by Striplab.

NS logo designed by Viktor Koen.