Making fine art out of tattoo art — that was the challenge confronting a dozen of Vancouver’s best photographers over the May long weekend in 2010. The challenge was issued by Vince Hemingson: a photographer, a film maker, a tattoo historian, and the creator of the website vanishingtattoo.com.
Hemingson sent out a casting call asking anyone with tattoos to take part in the 3-day marathon photo shoot in exchange for $25 and a 16-by 20-inch portrait. One hundred heavily inked people, ranging from the homeless to a lawyer, turned up for the shoot at the studios of the Vancouver Photo Workshops and exposed their skin and souls to the photographers. “If the body is a temple,” says Hemingson. “Then tattoos are its stained glass windows.”
The photos were displayed in an exhibition later that year, and now they are available in a 200-page, fine art book called The Tattoo Project: Body, Art, Image. The book is available for preorder now through Amazon.ca and is expected to be on book store shelves in August.
Other photographers who participated in the shoot include: Johnathon Strebly (www.epixstudios.com), Syx Langeman (www.blackframesstudios.ca), Jeff Weddell (www.jeffweddell.com), Roz Norbury (www.rosamondnorbury.com), Dan Kozma (www.kozphotography.com), Spencer Kovats (www.spencerkovats.com), Aura McKay (www.auramckay.com), Wayne A. Höecherl (www.ordeal.ca), Pooya Nabei (www.pooyanabei.com), Melanie Jane (www.sugarcreative.ca), and Marc Koegel (www.marckoegel.com).